A church for sale in regional South Australia is attracting a flock of buyers from far and wide.
The Church of St John The Evangelist at 17 East Terrace, Laura, has just hit the market and will go under the hammer on June 5, before a clearance sale on the same day.
The unique listing, about 226km north of Adelaide, was built in 1875, and features solid hand-quarried stone walls with brick quoins and a Norman-style bell tower.
Cutting a fine figure on a 2085sq m corner block, the former place of worship is in original condition and adorned with lancet arched windows, exquisite stained glass panels and vaulted hardwood ceilings that soar above the central nave.
Complete with a parish hall, the property is drawing interest from Adelaide and interstate because of its rarity, character, location and potential, according to Barry Plant Norwood director Elesa Wood.
“The church is spacious and light-filled with stunning leadlight windows, and has been well looked after over the years,” she said.
“It is so heart-warmingly original that you can imagine the sermons and Sunday School lessons as if you were right there.”
Ideal for a home conversion, the property could also be used for commercial purposes or the land subdivided, subject to approval.
“The buyers could keep the church for themselves, while selling the hall or they could connect the two with a bold design,” Ms Wood said.
The property is a blank canvas for the buyer with imagination who could add a mezzanine level and walls to the church to create living areas and bedrooms.
There is also scope to renovate the hall that includes a kitchen and large storerooms.
“It is perfect for anyone looking for a tree-change, a project or a business opportunity,” Ms Wood said.
“A bed and breakfast venture would be suitable in this area, which is a gateway to the Flinders Ranges and a popular tourist destination.”
The church is a short stroll from Laura's main street, shops and primary school, and is an hour’s drive from the Clare Valley wine region.
Laura is a perfect base from which to visit nearby tourist attractions, including Stone Hut, an 1850s stone cottage and a relic of the mail coach days.
Established in 1872, the town is rich in historical buildings, including the Old Brewery, the Old Court House and the Masonic Lodge, and was once home to writer and poet CS Dennis, the author of The Sentimental Bloke.
A South Australian symbol for nearly a century, Golden North Ice Cream was established in Laura and recognised as a heritage icon by the National Trust of SA in 2006. The business employs about 65 people and manufactures more than 12 million litres of ice cream a year.
The town hosts a variety of annual events, including the award-winning Laura Fair, the Rocky River Historic & Art Society art exhibition, the Laura Country Music festival and the Laura Long Lunch.
Ms Wood expected strong interest in the property and was open to offers prior to auction.
“This is a great opportunity to have a go at something a little different,” she said.
“It’s also a chance to secure a piece of the region’s history, to enjoy a quiet pace of life or to capitalise on a booming tourist destination.”