The 158-year-old tin tabernacle of Hackney is to go under the auctioneer’s online hammer

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THE LITTLE corrugated-iron church, above, in Hackney is to go to auction with a guide price of less than £2 million. Erected for Presbyterians in 1858, it is probably the oldest surviving “tin tabernacle” in England.

Attempts over the years by the Sight of Eternal Life Church, a tiny pentecostal sect, to sell the building for £3 million failed.

Would-be buyers will have noted that the corrugated-iron roof was replaced with asbestos, a lethal material that is costly to remove.

Now the owner has put the sale of the Grade II listed building in the hands of online auctioneer Lot11. Its chief executive officer, Kevin Coughter, said in a press statement that “the 3,645 sq ft (339 sq m) timber and corrugated iron building” was likely to attract great interest. He did not mention the amount of land but Loving Dalston believes it totals 600 sq m.

Let us pray that the tin tabernacle is restored after it finally sells
Let us pray that any new owner restores the tin tabernacle , whatever its intended new use

Coughter added: “This site could be converted into a residential scheme, subject to planning, or something a bit different, like a nursery or possibly a cinema.”

Such suggestions alarmed the Hackney Society. The conservation group features a picture of the tin church on the first page of its website and a description of it as endangered.

The society’s Nick Perry and Lisa Shell told Loving Dalston: “If achieved, the hugely optimistic guide price will probably be reflected in the desire of a rapacious developer to turn this special little church into expensive flats.

“Whether the building and its community use prevails in such a battle will depend on Hackney council’s ability to wield the full might of local and national policy which strongly presumes against development when harm is proposed to treasures such as this rare Grade II listed building.”

David Altheer 230516

* Lot11 will take bids for the property, 76 Shrubland Road E8 4NH, on Wednesday 8 June 2016

* Backstory: Buy us for £3m, says Hackney’s tin tabernacle  

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