A NEWPORT church forced to shut due to a £500,000 bill is moving to the site of a former post office - subject to a lease being signed.

St Paul’s decided to leave its Grade II listed home at Commercial Street last summer because raising money for building repairs would be the equivalent of a “financial miracle”, it was said.

But if a lease is granted for the new venue, the church will be paying £20,000 to rent the premises at the old post office on Bridge Street in the city.

St Paul’s was previously forced to move into a shop opposite the church at Commercial Street after a bracket holding a beam in the ceiling collapsed in 2013. However, the arrangement came to an end and St Paul's moved back into the church in September, 2014.

The church’s existing activities, such as the food bank and toddler groups will continue in the new venue.

Speaking about the potential move, Reverend Justin Groves, 46, who has been based at the church for nine years, said there will be a period of adjustment but it won’t be a “massive transition”.

He said: “In terms of meeting rooms and storage capacity, the new venue is slightly bigger and has some quite exciting possibilities. We’re not going to be cramped; there’s room for growth.

“We will be taking as much as we can from within the church. As people walk into the new venue, there will be some obvious things that will say this is St Paul’s. We always try to make it about the people rather than the place.

“We think this is a great opportunity to demonstrate further that not only is the church relevant but the Christian message is relevant to the lives of everybody, particularly with the situation in the city centre as things continue to grow and develop.

“We are very much alive and kicking and growing - that’s the main thing.”

More than 50 parishioners are set to attend the church’s last official service at Commercial Street at 10.30am on Sunday and the building will be closed in the coming weeks.

The future of the building is now in the hands of the Church of Wales and it could be turned into flats run by a housing association.