THE end is now for the Congregational Church in Union Street in the centre of Darlington.

Worship had finished at the church in 1972 when it became a carpet showroom, which was abandoned after a fire in 2012, and earlier this year, we showed some splendidly cobwebby pictures from inside the derelict church taken by Peter Giroux.

This week, loads of people have reported that demolition on the church has begun.

Although in ruinous state, it is a piece of Darlington history. It was built in 1862, although at its core is the 1812 foundation stone from the Congregationalists’ first chapel on the site, which is behind Boots.

Callers have been concerned that its distinctive and decorative stonework – perhaps carved by an eccentric stonemason called Robert Borrowdale – is not being salvaged.

A council spokesman told Memories yesterday afternoon: “When the council bought the building, the church trustees requested that the foundation stone be salvaged and stored safely. This request has been passed onto the demolition company and the council will store for safe keeping.”

HERE for Peter Giroux' amazing pictures inside the abandoned church

HERE for the full history of the Union Street Church