Famous Burnett church up for sale
PROSTON'S famous Shepherd Memorial Church of St Peter is now deconsecrated and will be sold on the market at a shockingly low price, due to its remote location and declining church community.
This church was first built in 1937, and is a well known piece of architecture throughout Australia.
In fact, the building was granted the Australian Institute of Architecture's Queensland Chapter Award in the 1940s for Ecclesiastical and Institutional Buildings.
Being tied to so much local history, LJ Hooker sales manager Helene Wolski believes that because of the location, the church is being sold for far less than its worth.
"The unfortunate thing for the church in Proston, is that the big brick church there, it was built originally to house about 100 parishioners. If that building were to sit on a block in Brisbane, you'd be looking at a million-dollar property," Helene said.
The property is currently on the market for $120,000 negotiable, which includes chancellery furniture, three blocks of property, and a timber church hall that was added in 1969.
"The hall is another one that you could easily convert to a residence, as it's got some nice little arched windows at the front and that sort of thing, which will give it a nicer feel," described Helene.
Despite the fetching price, Helene still worries about buyer interest.
"Because we're sitting out at Proston, we've got a limited amount of buyers who are actually able to live in Proston and still either not work, or work online.
"It is going to limit the buyers, but unfortunately, being brick, it's not moveable, and it has to stay where it is," said Helene.
It appears the cause of sale is an indirect reflection of the decreasing church community.
"It's due to declining numbers, and this is something that has been affecting a lot of local parishes, not just the Anglicans, it's every denomination," said Helene.
Helene believes this may also be a problem for many churches across Australia.
"We're going to see more of this in the future, with church numbers dwindling and parishes having to combine. They don't have priests for the local community and it's a pity, but it's not only happening in our area, it's happening all across Australia."
After deconsecrating the church, the Proston Anglican community was forced to combine and become a part of the Murgon parish.
In regards to the church's structural lifespan, Helene is relieved to say that its preserved state is unlikely to change.
"It's listed on the State Heritage Register, so anything anyone does will have to be cleared with them.
"I would think it's most likely that someone will convert the church into a residence, at most," she explained.
For inspection times, contact Helene Wolski at LJ Hooker, Kingaroy.