St Cuthbert's Church in Ellenborough and St James' Church in Byabarra are in the final stages of sale after attracting a bidding frenzy.
The two Anglican churches in the Parish of Wauchope have both had offers accepted above $200,000 after they were closed and put on the market under a restructuring decision by the Anglican Diocese of Grafton.
- Grafton Anglican Diocese wants to sell off Byabarra church
- Grafton Anglican Diocese to sell St Cuthbert's at Ellenborough
- Anglican Diocese of Grafton says "it is early days" in plans for possible sell-off of church sites
- St Cuthbert's Church in Ellenborough and St James' Church in Byabarra are up for sale
Real estate agent Tim Castro, who managed the sale of both properties for Wauchope Real Estate, said both churches had attracted more than 500 enquires despite only being listed for 15 days.
"We had approximately 500 enquires over the 15 days they have been listed. I'd say the average for a property is usually around 70 to 100.
"We had both listed for 15 days which is a very short time, but that is quite a normal time on the market now for any property.
"I would attribute that (increased demand) to the price. Both were attractive properties for first home buyers getting into the market.
"We also had many people who could see the churches as a good investment to convert to an Airbnb (holiday rental) or convert to an art gallery or small business. There were a lot of different thoughts but the main thoughts were to turn it into an Airbnb."
Byabarra church is 92 years old, while the Ellenborough church is more than 100 years old. Both were initially listed with an asking price of $130,000 and $220,000 respectively.
Mr Castro was also surprised to find both churches had been independently posted to social media group, Churches for Sale Australia, attracting several dozen likes and a few comments each.
"These have been the first churches I've been involved in selling and I can say it's been a very unique experience," he said.
All Saints Pappinbara Community Church was also in the running to be sold, but was purchased for a minimal amount and returned to community ownership in May 2021 after 12 months of negotiations with the Diocese.
Worship and ministry will now be focused at St Matthew's in Wauchope, according to the Diocese.
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