Hundreds back club campaign

Residents are campaigning to stop the closure of St Gregory's Parish Centre

Residents are campaigning to stop the closure of St Gregory's Parish Centre

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Hundreds of people have backed a campaign against plans to close a Chorley social club.

Last week the Guardian reported on plans to shut St Gregory’s Parish Club on Ash Grove after more than 70 years at the heart of the community.

Now, more than 100 people have signed an online petition calling for a U-turn by bosses at St Gregory’s Church, on Weldbank Lane, who run the club. Rising maintenance costs and a change in social attitudes were blamed for the move, which would also mean an end to the club’s bowling green.

Mandy Clayton, who ran the club in 2004 and is part of a group of people who are opposing the change, said: “We have had so much support. The petitions are all over the place at the moment. They are really doing the rounds and lots of people are signing. They are also in local shops.

“The parishioners are getting together to form a plan of action. We are definitely not giving up. It is just heartbreaking and we are going to do all we can.”

The social club, which was built in 1938, hosts various activities including a bowling club, domino club, karate lessons, and the Women’s Guild luncheon club. Church bosses say all group activities apart from the bowling clubs will be transferred to the church site.

The Guardian understands the building will now be taken on by the nearby Westmorland School to extend their facilities.

Monsignor Michael McKenna, from the church, said: “I am not aware of a petition but am not surprised there is one. People have been invited to submit questions in writing which we will try to answer.”

To support the petition, visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/save-st-gregorys-club/