THE future of the historic listed St Bartholomew's building in Gourock is unclear after the Tele revealed how the church is to close this summer.

The Barrhill Road place of worship has been a local landmark since 1862 years, but church leaders say there is no final decision as yet about what will happen to it.

It is expected that it will be put up for sale, raising questions about redevelopment.

The Scottish Episcopalian Church says that a committee will take on responsibility for the entire site, which includes a memorial garden where remains are buried.

Right Rev Bishop Kevin Pearson said: "There are no plans for the future of the church building and site.

"This responsibility will fall to the Diocesan Property Committee, who will become responsible for the entire site as well as all the church’s goods and furnishings after the final service."

The remaining members of the congregation told the Tele on Monday of their sadness at the closure of the church after a dwindling congregation and lack of funds took their toll.

Worshippers are worried about what will become of the building where some of them were christened and married.

Angela McLean, a leading member of the congregation, said: "We expect it will be sold but it is a listed building.

"We also have the memorial garden in the grounds."

Mr Pearson, leader of the church in the diocese of Glasgow and Galloway, which includes Inverclyde, said that he had been approached by the officials from the church some time ago as membership declined.

He added: "As Bishop I was approached by St Bartholomew’s Vestry quite some time ago as they were concerned for their future and their capacity to run the church.

"Last year the vestry members formally requested to close the charge, and this was necessarily taken to the Diocesan Synod.

"The life of St Bartholomew’s will be remembered with fondness and spiritual affection by many from throughout its years of life."

The separate church hall in Binnie Lane was sold off previously after falling into disrepair and is now earmarked for a luxury housing development.

St Bartholomew's was once open every single day and a key pillar in the community, with a thriving Boys' Brigade back in the day.

In recent years the church relied on two preachers for its Sunday services but it managed to reopen following the Covid lockdowns.

Remaining members of the congregation will now each make a personal decision about where they choose to worship from now on.