Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

New Church of Scientology opens in Birmingham

Pitmaston House was bought by the Church for £4,200,000 in 2007 Credit: BPM media

Birmingham's Church of Scientology will open in Moseley this afternoon, ten years after the building was acquired.

Pitmaston House was bought by the Church for £4,200,000 in 2007.

Ten years on and renovations have finally finished, with the property transformed into a place of worship for the often controversial religion.

The current building was built in the 1930s on the footprint of the original Pitmaston House - which dated back to the 1870s.

In 2003, the former deal Benefit Offices received the status of a Grade II listed building – protecting both the interior, exterior and setting of the building.

Pitmaston House was bought by the Church for £4,200,000 in 2007 Credit: BPM media

The original plans to renovate the Birmingham building were met with controversy - with one objector calling the church a “corrupt, sinister and dangerous cult”.

Roger Godsiff, Labour MP for Hall Green, had previously said he was "not a fan of the Church of Scientology, which is essentially a money-making cult".

This has been strenuously denied by the US-founded church, which says it is a legitimate religion - something that was backed by the Supreme Court in December 2013.

It remains to be seen how residents of Moseley will react to the opening, although the Church is hopeful about its positive involvement within the community.

Pitmaston House was bought by the Church for £4,200,000 in 2007 Credit: BPM media

Graeme Wilson, the Church of Scientology’s UK-based public affairs director, previously said:

A major function of our Churches is to give help in the local community, including with drug education, human rights education, literacy programmes, crime reduction programmes, helping those in need, and more.

– Graeme Wilson