A historic heritage-listed East Lancashire church is up for sale.

The Anglican Diocese of Blackburn has put St James Church, known as the Church Kirk, on the market.

It is seeking offers in the region of £75,000 for the redundant building in St James’ Road, Church.

The Grade II-listed church with 1.65 acres of grounds and graveyards was constructed in three periods between 1284 and 1896 on a site used for Christian worship since 642AD.

The property benefits from a planning use as a place of worship and similar uses such as education, museum, or public hall.

The property may also be suitable for alternative uses or redevelopment subject to planning and listed building consent.

A special Church Kirk Regeneration Trust was set up to save the building for the local community and proposed to convert the building into a community hub including a cafe and meeting room.

The main set of eight bells in the tower have been transferred to St Cuthbert’s Church in Over Kellet near Lancaster while the oldest 1537 Flemish Bell remains in the building.

Former Hyndburn MP Graham Jones said the trust which he chairs has been offered the opportunity to buy the building, but could not afford the repair and maintenance costs without outside help.

He said it had applied for grants from relevant bodies including £30,000 from Hyndburn Council which had been turned down.

Mr Jones expects the borough Labour group to ask Hyndburn's next Full Council meeting to reverse that decision.

He said: "It would be an absolute disgrace if this building was sold rather than saved for the community.

"Church Kirk is one of the oldest and most historic buildings in Hyndburn.

"It deserves to be supported by the council."

The Venerable Mark Ireland, Archdeacon of Blackburn, said: “The building was, and is, in very poor condition and needs significant funds for repairs.

“At the same time as we closed Church Kirk, we opened a new church aimed specifically at families.

"Meanwhile we have continued to maintain and monitor this listed building.

“This is expensive.

“I have worked hard to find a future for Church Kirk and I am very sorry we have not been able to find a lasting solution to enable continued community use.

“The building is now up for sale. All offers will be considered, including from community groups, as long as they have a viable business plan for the future of the building.”