Worship could return to unused Offa House

Offa House, Offchurch
Offa House, Offchurch
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Offchurch’s former retreat house could reopen as a place of Christian worship after bids to open the space up to homeless refugees fell flat.

Offa House has been left empty for years but after two unsuccessful attempts by the church to open the space up to Syrian refugees and asylum seekers, a use for the building is now being sought.

The Grade II-listed Georgian rectory is owned by the Diocese of Coventry which has this summer called for potential Christian partners in hope of recreating a spiritual retreat house.

But consideration will also be given to sell or lease the 27-bedroom building to a commercial bidder to ensure it is brought back into use.

A search is now on for partners to find a partner from either within and outside the Christian community.

A spokesperson from the diocese said with empty bedrooms and suitable kitchen spaces, the house would lend itself to many schemes- including reverting back to a retreat house for the church.

He said: “The diocese is currently exploring future uses for Offa House.

“We are currently considering the possibility of the reopening of Offa House as a place of spiritual renewal for the diocese and beyond.

“An opportunity therefore exists to enter into discussions with Coventry Diocese around these existing possibilities.”

Standing next to St Gregory’s parish church, the building was used as village vicarage until 1961.

It was later run as the diocesan’s retreat house and conference centre but closed in 2013 due to ongoing financial pressures.

The house was partially re-opened for daily prayer in 2014 but no long-term use has been found for the building since that time.

The church is now calling for interested groups to get in touch and help find a way forward for the building.

Contact Tim Coleman via tim.coleman@covcofe.org or 07740818337 to discuss proposals.