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Morristown Catholic Church expresses interest in former Methodist Church building

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MORRISTOWN — The former United Methodist Church building, 504 Gouverneur St., may be purchased by the Catholic Church.

The Morristown Central School District previously had expressed an interest in the building, advertised for $130,000, as a space for after-school and community events.

The district uses the church’s parking lot for faculty and staff and some members of the board of education were concerned that their ability to continue using the spaces could be jeopardized if the building is sold.

However, because of the cost of the building and fears that it would be prohibitively expensive to renovate, the district backed out of negotiations last month.

But St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 506 Gouverneur St., may take ownership of the building.

The Rev. Jay W. Seymour, pastor of the church, said, “We’re looking at the cost of renovating that.”

Although he acknowledged the church is interested in the property, Father Seymour said, “It’s kind of premature at this point. We don’t have enough information now to move forward.”

He said the church is considering using the former Methodist church as a parish center alternative.

St. John’s has a parish center at Morris and Ann streets that has a defunct gymnasium on the back.

Father Seymour said compared with the current parish center, the Methodist church “would be more suitable for large parish gatherings.”

The building also could be used as a youth center, he said, and would be ideal for religious classes.

Father Seymour said the church would speak with the school district about parking if it took further steps to secure the building. “We have made no offer” on the building yet, he said.

The Rev. Thomas A. Clemow, property management consultant for the United Methodist Church, said in an email that the property is being “actively marketed” but would not comment on negotiations with the Catholic Church.

The Methodist Church vacated the building in August.

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