Almost 120 years of Salvation Army history is coming to an end because the Grantham corps cannot afford the upkeep of the citadel in London Road and must leave.
While the Grantham corps must quit the imposing building, where it has been based since 1896, it insists that it is moving and not closing down.
The corps says it has nowhere to go at the moment and is asking for help to find alternative premises where members can meet.
Commanding Officer of the Grantham corps Major Marta Ager said: “We can confirm that Grantham corps is not closing. Our building is no longer fit for purpose and would require considerable refurbishment which would be cost prohibitive for us at the moment.
“Therefore we are at the very early stages of decommissioning this building and looking for alternative premises in the town. We very much see this as a new chapter in the history of our mission and dedicated service.”
Major Ager said she gratefully acknowledged the offers of help and support she has received from members, other churches, businesses, organisations and individuals in the town.
She added: “As we find new premises and move forward I would ask for your continued support and prayers, and thank you for your co-operation and patience. We have sought to minister to the needs of Grantham for years, and after a brief period of relocation and change we will be seeking to do so for many more years to come.”
Local historian Malcolm Knapp said the Salvation Army built the citadel in London Road after moving from its base in Elmer Street North. The imposing castellated building was officially opened by a member of the family of Salvation Army founder William Booth.
Mr Knapp said: “It’s a lovely building and I am very saddened to hear of what has happened. It’s such a nice building on the inside as well. Work was done on it 20 or 30 years ago. Hopefully something can be done with it if anybody has the money.”