Regenerating Churches No longer needed for worship


We have a strategic interest in churches that are no longer needed for worship, and are actively developing expertise in affordable residential conversion.

Czero’s conversion of the Welsh Baptist Chapel into 87 one bed apartments for students was an extreme example of what can be done, and many lessons were learned from that project. Ideally buildings are taken on before they start to deteriorate, let alone fall into ruin, and Czero currently has another church under offer where the proposal is a conversion of just 10 residential units.

Simon Linford brings the experience of having dealt with the purchase of churches closed for worship, having bought both St John’s Hanley and St Luke’s Blakenhall from the Church Commissioners (both Grade II*), bring them back into use and taking them off Heritage at Risk Registers.

Ground floor plan for the Chapel, our conversion of the Welsh Baptist Unitarian Chapel in Manchester

The Chapel

Less than a mile south of Manchester City Centre, opposite the university, sits the empty shell of the former Unitarian Chapel. Czero completed the conversion of the Grade II* listed building into 87 studio apartments for Empiric Student Property in September 2017.

The building was designed by Charles Barry and AWN Pugin, prior to their celebrated collaboration at the Palace of Westminster. It is therefore highly significant, and was added to the list of ten most threatened buildings in England and Wales by the Victorian Society in 2010. Initially a Unitarian Chapel, it was later handed over to the Welsh Baptists, and most recently had also been home to an Islamic Academy.

Planning and listed building consents were obtained in February 2014 for the insertion of studio apartments in the main body of the Chapel and adjacent Sunday School building, with a further 10 units on the former churchyard. This is essentially putting a modern steel framed building into the listed shell. The graveyard was emptied and an underground leisure complex built in its place.