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A landmark building in the Black Country that started life as a Methodist church and later served as a Sikh gurdwara is appearing in Bond Wolfe’s next auction in July.

Built in the Gothic style, the former Akrill Methodist Church has stood on the corner of Londonderry Road and The Uplands in Smethwick since 1931.

Shrinking attendances saw it close as a church more than a decade ago and in recent years it was used as a Sikh gurdwara.

It is now listed for sale, with vacant possession, at the next Bond Wolfe livestreamed auction on 13 July with a guide price* of £375,000+.

Ian Tudor, commercial auction director at Bond Wolfe, said: “These impressive premises occupy nearly half an acre on a broadly triangular site, with the building extending to approximately 6,266 sq ft.

“It is considered suitable for a variety of alternative uses or redevelopment, subject to the necessary planning permissions being secured.

“The current configuration provides a main entrance lobby, large worship hall, large commercial kitchen, large dining room, various meeting rooms, ancillary stores and toilets.

“There are many original features as well as gas-fired central heating, and currently the building has a tower to one corner, with surfaced car parking for around ten vehicles.

“In recent years, the premises have undergone some repair and improvement works by the current owners, including part mezzanine flooring.”

According to the Black Country History group, the church was originally built to replace Smethwick’s Weslyan chapel.

The property was built between 1928 and 1931 with half the cost of the church and a Sunday School funded by a legacy left by Elizabeth Akrill, a prominent Methodist from Edgbaston, Birmingham.

Methodist trustees wanted to build a new church away from the industrial area and the constant noise of drop forging and, as a result, it sits in a well-established residential area, opposite Smethwick Cricket Club.

One of the Methodists was ‘Bert’ Camm, whose father owned the internationally acclaimed T W Camm stained glass business on Smethwick High Street.

As a result, many of the church windows were provided by the company, including one based on Holmans Hunt’s ‘The Light of the World’ painting.

The building was threatened with demolition in 2008 because of the high cost of repairs but Sandwell Council agreed to changes in access in 2011.

This allowed the church to be sold while the neighbouring church hall became the new home of the Methodist congregation, before it also closed two years ago.

The former church is just one of scores of properties appearing in Bond Wolfe’s next auction which is due to start at 9am on Thursday 13 July.

The auction will be livestreamed via Bond Wolfe’s website with remote bidding by proxy, telephone or internet.

For more details and to register to bid visit or email [email protected], or call 0121 312 1212 or 01902 928 510.

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