EMOTIONS ran high at a public event showcasing proposals for the future use of St Laurence’s Church in Middleton St George.

The church was officially closed in 2012 under controversial circumstances as some residents believed the Church Commissioners were not being honest about the costs needed to restore the building to structural safety.

Residents campaigned and fundraised to secure the Grade II listed building for the benefit of the congregation but it was placed on the open market and an offer for St Laurence’s is now being considered.

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Plans to turn into a residential property were unveiled at Middleton St George Community Centre this week as part of the proceedings followed in all cases of closed consecrated church buildings.

However, ward councillor and parish chairwoman Doris Jones said many residents remained angry over the circumstances of its closure and said there were some heated exchanges at the consultation.

She added: “Everybody is quite annoyed with it all.

“There are people that have been baptised in that church, then grown and had their own children baptised in that church, but now there isn’t a church to go to.”