Scientologists to build large church in £1million Plymouth building

fortymarriedandbalding

Patron with Honors
http://www.thisisplymouth.co.uk/new...ty-church/article-1504586-detail/article.html


Scientologists to build large church in £1million Plymouth building

Thursday, November 12, 2009, 11:05

SCIENTOLOGISTS in Plymouth are planning to buy a £1million property in the city centre and convert it into a church.

They say the "bold" and "prominent" building is being planned as the popularity of the religion grows in Plymouth and the South West.

Two undisclosed buildings are currently being looked at in the centre of Plymouth.

Marianne Rowell, spokeswomen for the Church of Scientology, said the plan was to buy the building by the end of the year, and open it as a church and resource centre by May or June next year.

A planning application to convert the building will be submitted to Plymouth City Council early next year.
She said the current Church of Scientology in Ebrington Street in the city centre was "too small" for the needs of its followers.

It has around 3,000 to 5,000 sq ft of floor space. The new church will boast around 60,000 sq ft.

"It will be a very prominent and bold building in the city centre of Plymouth," said Marianne, who also revealed the plan is at an advanced stage.

"We are close to getting the money needed to get it. It has been raised almost entirely through donations and fundraising events organised by local people.

"The new building will be a huge increase in size for us. It is being created because of demand for scientology in Plymouth and the surrounding area.
"More and more people are becoming followers of scientology and we need increased space."

Marianne said in the past two years alone there had been an increase of 8,00 to 1,000 Church of Scientology followers in Plymouth.

She said there were now 12,000 across Plymouth, Devon and Cornwall.

The number of scientologists in the UK is approximately 102,000.

Once open, the new Church of Scientology building is likely to boast large signage and feature displays and an information centre on the religion, a chapel for events and Sunday services, a cafe, and meeting and career rooms.

Marianne said other groups in the community would also be invited to use the facilities.

Scientology was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard and defines itself as 'the study and handling of the spirit in relationship to itself, others and all of life'.

Among its celebrity followers are actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, singer Beck and the voice of Bart Simpson, Nancy Cartwright.

It has been the subject of much criticism in the UK over the past few years.

Protesters have previously campaigned against the religion's presence in Plymouth.

Time for Plymouth anons and critics to get busy.
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Marianne Rowell, spokeswomen for the Church of Scientology, said the plan was to buy the building by the end of the year, and open it as a church and resource centre by May or June next year. A planning application to convert the building will be submitted to Plymouth City Council early next year.

She said the current Church of Scientology in Ebrington Street in the city centre was "too small" for the needs of its followers. It has around 3,000 to 5,000 sq ft of floor space. The new church will boast around 60,000 sq ft.

Let's see. So the plan is to buy the building by the end of the year; then apply for the OK to convert it.

And the planning application will be approved, all the renos done, and the thing open by May or June 2010?

And they need 20 times the space. Or is it 12 times? They don't even know if their current floor space is 3000 sq ft or 5000 sq ft? How can they not know that? Don't they ever go there to look?!

I think they need a bigger "Out to lunch" sign for their front door.

Paul

EDIT: On reflection, I suppose they can't really apply for planning permission to convert it before they buy it. Just seems kinda risky, though.
 
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skydog

Patron Meritorious
EDIT: On reflection, I suppose they can't really apply for planning permission to convert it before they buy it. Just seems kinda risky, though.

Paul

Actually, I think they can make an application if they have a purchase/sale agreement for the property. Real estate contracts may and often do have such contingencies as part of the agreement.

So let me see if I get this strait. They have an increase of 1000 "raw meat" bodies to a membership of 12000 or about an 8% increase (if you believe them). So they now need to increase their square footage 120%? It certainly proves the point that real estate is the most revered stat of the organization.
 
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"They say the "bold" and "prominent" building is being planned as the popularity of the religion grows in Plymouth and the South West."

I think what they meant to say was "The popularity of the real estate acquisitions grow"
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Actually, I think they can make an application if they have a purchase/sale agreement for the property. Real estate contracts may and often do have such contingencies as part of the agreement.

Well that makes a lot of sense. Thanks.

Paul
 

attackgypsy

New Member
Paul

Actually, I think they can make an application if they have a purchase/sale agreement for the property. Real estate contracts may and often do have such contingencies as part of the agreement.

So let me see if I get this strait. They have an increase of 1000 "raw meat" bodies to a membership of 12000 or about an 8% increase (if you believe them). So they now need to increase their square footage 120%? It certainly proves the point that real estate is the most revered stat of the organization.

Actually, the increased space makes alot of sense.

They're planning not only for current needs, but future needs as well. That is a common planning strategy for many corporations and civic groups. The article also mentioned that they plan to rent space to other groups as well. Probably local clubs and such. Many churches do this here in the US. (I'm not saying they're a religion. Just as a comparison.)
 

byte301

Crusader
Actually, the increased space makes alot of sense.

They're planning not only for current needs, but future needs as well. That is a common planning strategy for many corporations and civic groups. The article also mentioned that they plan to rent space to other groups as well. Probably local clubs and such. Many churches do this here in the US. (I'm not saying they're a religion. Just as a comparison.)

Well if they're REALISTICALLY planning for future needs they should probably start shopping for something the size of a broom closet.:D
 

johnAnchovie

Still raging
Where is Graeme?

Marianne Rowell, spokeswomen for the Church of Scientology, said the plan was to buy the building by the end of the year, and open it as a church and resource centre by May or June next year.

If Marrianne is doing this kind of announcement, it means that Gaeme Wilson is off post, Marrianne was in LRH PPRO office and church pr functions were never mixed with 'The Founders'.... Is this a really anal post? :no:
 

byte301

Crusader
Marianne Rowell, spokeswomen for the Church of Scientology, said the plan was to buy the building by the end of the year, and open it as a church and resource centre by May or June next year.

If Marrianne is doing this kind of announcement, it means that Gaeme Wilson is off post, Marrianne was in LRH PPRO office and church pr functions were never mixed with 'The Founders'.... Is this a really anal post? :no:

Not at all john. It's the kind of info anon would love. Knowing the players in and out of the game is important.

Damn, I just lost.:no:
 

Iknowtoomuch

Gold Meritorious Patron
Even with that number it falls short of the 8-10 million members.

I wonder how they're gauging these "new" members?
 

anon2019

Patron with Honors
Let's see. So the plan is to buy the building by the end of the year; then apply for the OK to convert it.

And the planning application will be approved, all the renos done, and the thing open by May or June 2010?

And they need 20 times the space. Or is it 12 times? They don't even know if their current floor space is 3000 sq ft or 5000 sq ft? How can they not know that? Don't they ever go there to look?!

I think they need a bigger "Out to lunch" sign for their front door.

Paul

EDIT: On reflection, I suppose they can't really apply for planning permission to convert it before they buy it. Just seems kinda risky, though.

The ideal org in Gateshead was purchased and then they applied for planning permission for a change of use to a place of religious worship, which was granted. The application never mentioned that it was owned or would be used by COS. Northumbria Anons objected to Gateshead Council and were told that COS was not recognised as a religion in the UK and if they used the building as a place of worship they would be in breach of planning use.The ideal org has been vacant since then
Unfortunately the Labour party's new Equality Bill may change the Council's position


Dear Mr Cranston

I apologise for the delay in responding to you but you will appreciate some research ws required into this matter.

It is the case in my opinion that the nature of the religion is not a material consideration. What is also true is that the Church of Scientology is not recognised as a religion in this country as you point out.

The Church of Scientology did not apply for planning permission, the application was made by a Mr Pickles who used his agent Hodkin And Company to make the application.

The only connection with the Church of Scientology, as I understand it, is that Hodkin And Company have acted for that organisation, that is not to say this application is being made by them.

A Place of Worship falls under a D1 use class and because the D1 class covers a number of other potential uses the Council restricted the use within D1 by condition to a place of worship. If the Church of Scientology implement the permission then my view at this time would be that they would be in breach of the condition as they are not a legally recognised religion in this country

This would not prevent the organisation applying to have a D1 use under say a non residential educational/training establishment which would have to be assessed on its merits at that time. They could do this with a new application or by seeking planning consent to vary the condition from Place of Worship to non residential educational establishment under D1, again this would need assessed on its merits.

At this time however the planning permission has not been implemented and therefore no breach has taken place and there is nothing to prevent a recognised religious group implementing the consent.

I hope this information is of assistance to you.

Yours sincerely,


Andrew Hickie
Development Control Manager
Development Control
Regulatory Services
Development and Enterprise
Gateshead Council
 

Ex_SaintHill

Patron with Honors
The number of scientologists in the UK is approximately 102,000

I thought that there aren't even that many Scientologists worldwide.

They are probably counting all the bookbuyers from the last 50 years who are filed in Central files.
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
Yeah, but I'm not being snarky if I say that no worshipping occurs in Scn orgs as a matter of course anyway, as far as I can tell. The dictionary talks about reverence and adoration for a deity, as is familiar in the phrase "worshipping God" and so forth. There is another definition talking about doing religious rites and ceremonies, or taking part in religious services.

Now, maybe it needs some legal research here, but does what occurs (or should be occurring) in an org fall under the heading of "worshipping" here? The word is never normally used in an org by staff or public as it just doesn't apply.

It's easy to toss in some cheap shots about worshipping money, or Hubbard, or whatever, but it's a serious question.

Paul
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
I thought that there aren't even that many Scientologists worldwide.

They are probably counting all the bookbuyers from the last 50 years who are filed in Central files.

When I was at SH until 1985 the last figure I recall was about 50,000 in Addresso (this included ANZO and US, not just UK), including "bookbuyers". I use quote marks because that included people who had addresses (illegally) tabbed as "Reach" in 1968, who hadn't been heard of since.

Paul
 

Terril park

Sponsor
I think they need a bigger "Out to lunch" sign for their front door.

Paul
.

Thats closer to the truth. One of my oldest friends lives in Plymouth, about a hundred yards from the Org. I've spent many great holidays down there over the years, and many times walked past the org. I never saw anyone there. Ever.
 
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