A GARRISON church is set to be listed as an asset of community value after parish councillors argued it is a “vital” part of the village.

City of York Council officers have recommended that the Garrison Church of St Wilfrid in Strensall is named an asset of community value (ACV) at a meeting with the leader of the council Cllr Ian Gillies on Monday.

The church is owned by the Ministry of Defence. Strensall Barracks are due to close in 2021.

Strensall with Towthorpe parish council has applied for the church to be listed as an ACV and a report prepared for the council meeting says: “Strensall parish council state in the nomination form that the garrison church is a vital part of the local community.

"It is used for Sunday worship in order to cater for an enlarged local population, which has outgrown the parish church of St Mary, which can only seat 90 comfortably and up to 120 at a squeeze.

"Special services such as Christingle Services (with candles) can be accommodated at St Wilfrids. They are not permitted at St Mary’s for health and safety reasons. Village carol services and lessons are also held at the church. The building has the capacity to hold large weddings and funerals as well as being a concert venue. In addition fund raising events are held there, organised by the local community.”

If it becomes an ACV, the church would not be able to be disposed of without the community being given a fair opportunity to buy it on the open market. The report says a consultation has taken place with the owners and occupiers of the property but no representations have been received from the Defence Infrastructure Organisation.