Westminster pub set to become a ‘Kingdom hall’
In St Ann's the Westminster public house which suddenly closed down on November 16th has now been purchased by the local Jehovah's Witnesses who intend to turn the building into a place of worship.
Today there are only two pubs that remain open in the area, the St Ann's Inn & The Sycamore. Originally there were 55 pubs in St Ann's during the 1960s in its hay-day, and when modern St Ann's was completed following the slum clearance program of 1971 this number was significantly reduced to just eight.
In April hundreds of local residents signed a petition & submitted over 120 letters of objection to the Development Department to save their pub from closure with moderate success; the main organisers of the protest were Pete Loft & David Bradbury.
Since then the Westminster pub has remained open with regulars putting on local community events, and children's parties, to demonstrate the pub's popularity in the heart of St Ann's.
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The last successful celebration at the pub was in remembrance of all the fallen St Ann's solders of WW1 & WW2 on remembrance Sunday
On Tuesday 18 December Mr Michael Niemczenko on behalf of the Trustees, Nottingham Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses based on Carlton Hill, registered a planning application with Nottingham City Council to change the use of the Westminster pub into a new Kingdom hall.
The plans may been seen on the City Council's planning website using the reference 12/03321/PFUL3
The application for change of use of the public house is needed to replace the building currently used by worshippers that is rented from the local authority in Victoria Park on Bath Street for many years, and which has no on-site parking.
The application says that the existing building will be retained and the interior modified and decorated.
"The building will be dedicated as a place of worship i.e. religious services will be held weekly along with weddings and funeral services. Meetings will be open to the public and free of charge to everyone and there is no collection or soliciting of donations. The programme of weekly meetings includes lectures about the bible, audience discussions on bible subjects and an advanced training course in bible reading and speaking on bible."
Anyone wishing to object to the planning application has until January 20th 2013.