A church as old as Canada will be auctioned off later this month.

The Central Hampstead Baptist Church near Gagetown was built in 1867.

Now the building and its contents — including original stained glass windows, antique furniture and a working organ — are going on the auction block.


The Central Hampstead Baptist Church dates back to 1867 and it and its contents will go on the auction block on July 26. (CBC)

Today, the church has only about a dozen members, with four of them being active in church affairs.

The church's few remaining parishioners say they can't afford the upkeep any longer.

"We can sleep on this forever and not do anything," said church member Bob Johnson.

"Meanwhile, the church is deteriorating ... So the decision was made to have the building removed from the site, have the site levelled and then erect a monument."

The auction is set for July 26.

"There's already been quite an interest and I can even say some reserve bids from people near and far," said Johnson.


Murial Walker was married in the Central Hampstead Baptist Church and has always lived nearby. (CBC)

Any buyer of the church itself must have it moved from the property.

Muriel Walker, the church secretary, was married in the church and has always lived nearby. She says the removal of the church will change the landscape of the area.

"Oh yes, very much so, because now when I look out the window I see the church."

Money raised through the auction will help pay for a monument to the church. Any remaining funds will be donated to a worthy cause, said Johnson.

The handful of church members will join the nearby Queenstown Baptist congregation.