A CHURCH which has stood in the community for nearly 100 years has been demolished.

St John’s Church, in Oakley, was knocked down following a review by Winchester Diocese and The Church Commissioners in London.

The church, in St John’s Road, was built in 1914 as an extra place of worship, but The Church Commissioners decided that the building should be demolished after it was made redundant in June 2009 because of a dwindling congregation.

A group of villagers fought an unsuccessful battle to save St John’s but gave up their fight after realising the challenge of raising enough money to save it in time was too great.

The church has been carefully demolished to protect graves and memorials.

The churchyard will be landscaped to include seating for families visiting the graveyard and be renamed St John’s Garden of Remembrance. It will still have space for burials until it becomes full.

The war memorial will also be refurbished and relocated to where the communion table used to be inside the church. It will also have additional names of men from the village who died in the Second World War.

The Bishop of Basingstoke is expected to dedicate the new garden of remembrance later this year.

The Reverend Jeremy Vaughan, rector of Oakley with Wootton, previously told The Gazette the church was constructed as a temporary building with short-life materials.