THE public are being invited to have their say on proposal to demolish a former Catholic Church in North Belfast.

Church of the Resurrection on the Cavehill Road first opened in 1980 and served as a focal point for Catholic families in the homes around the Upper Cavehill area.

In 2008 the Church, following consultation, was permanently closed due to continuing leakage from the roof, with the cost of repair beyond the resources of the parish at the time, with debts estimated at around £2 million.

Holy Family Parish is now inviting the public to have their say on a proposal to demolish the permanently closed Church of the Resurrection.

The parish said: "As time has moved on, the state of the church building has deteriorated, with the original leakage exacerbated by continuous vandalism and theft despite the security measures in place at a considerable cost to the parish.

"We also must face the unfortunate reality that there has been an on-going decline in the active church community, and this been further exacerbated over the past two years by the Covid pandemic.

"In addition, there is evidently a shortfall in the number of priests to serve the parish and people involved within the parish.

"The present active churches of Holy Family and St Therese have catered for the number of parishioners over the years and indeed have also entailed the reduction in the number of masses offered as more seating became available in each mass.

"In the year 2020/2021 the income of the parish reduced by £100,000. The safety of the building is also to be taken into consideration as well as its general outlook in the area.

"Recent pressure has come from the insurance company due to safety concerns. The insurers have told us that if there is no progress on demolition, they state they will require the site to be secured and constantly monitored with a maintenance schedule to be undertaken. This will be at a significant cost to the parish.

"It is proposed that when the demolition phase is completed, further communication will be made with parishioners on what is to be proposed for the Church grounds."

The public are urged to complete a response sheet here and deliver to the parish office before 12 noon on Monday, May 30.

Any decision at parish level will require the approval of the Bishop, who will seek the consent of the College of Consultors and Diocesan Trustees.