Narva church auction called off
The bankruptcy committee of the congregation of St. Alexander in Narva decided to cancel the auction of St. Alexander's Church in the northeastern border city following several requests, among others by the Ministry of the Interior, daily Postimees reported.
Trustee Eve Selberg said that the registration deadline for the planned auction had already been postponed once, from Apr. 18 to May 5.
"On Thursday the auction was called off altogether," Kerli Kase, representative of the creditors and a member of the bankruptcy committee, said. Kase added that the cancellation had been requested by several parties, including the Ministry of the Interior.
A meeting is due to take place at the ministry in a couple of weeks’ time, and the future of the church building might be clearer by then.
St. Alexander’s was declared bankrupt in April 2015 because of the small congregation's inability to meet its financial obligations in connection with the reconstruction of the church.
The bankruptcy petition was filed by construction company AS Eviko, the congregation's debt at the time allegedly amounted to more than €2.1m.
At the end of March this year the general meeting of creditors decided to auction off the building of St. Alexander's of Narva at a starting price of €500,000.
Archbishop Urmas Viilma of the Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church (EELK) announced a fundraising campaign on Apr. 25 to support the bankrupt congregation and salvage its assets.
The government spent more than €2m to help restore the Lutheran church, one million of which was provided via a regional competitiveness program of the Enterprise Estonia foundation.