CIRENCESTER Baptist Church was due to go under the hammer on Tuesday but its sale failed to go through.

The church, previously sold by Cirencester Baptists for an undisclosed sum to an unknown buyer, was given a guide price of £600,000 at the auction in London.

Barnard Marcus Property Auctioneers described the church as a "two floor 6,114 square feet development potential dwelling subject to planning permission".

A spokeswoman from Barnard Marcus told the Standard: “An offer of £637,500 was made but the sale did not go through. There will be another auction on February 2, next year.”

Cirencester Baptists current congregation has outgrown the small church on Coxwell Street so the group bought the old social club in Chesterton for half a million pounds earlier this year, which they hope to convert into a church.

Matt Frost, senior pastor for Cirencester Baptists, said: “We’ve already sold the building and signed the contract so it won’t really affect us if the buyer is struggling to sell it on.

“Whoever buys the church won't be able to take possession until we’ve left - that was in the sale contract - which won't be until our new building in Chesterton Lane is ready, so at least 18 months."

He added: “Our main concern is that whoever takes it on are good neighbours to our existing neighbours.”