Flushing's historic former chapel could be sold to the highest bidder, possibly housing developers, if a community use is not found for it by the end of the year.

Due to declining congregation sizes the chapel was closed during its 200th anniversary year in 2016, and a group of chapel members had expressed a wish that if at all possible it be put to a community use, preferably but not necessarily with the option to still hold occasional church functions.

In June last year they held a public consultation, attended by around 50 people, to see if there were any ideas of what to do with the building, or any groups willing to take it on, but since then support seems to have died down.

Malcolm Noble, the Methodist circuit property secretary, said: "The problem is there are many community spaces, and a number of them struggle with support.

"So to have one more is problematic unless some entrepreneur came up with an idea that adds value that no other space does."

He said that by the end of 2017 the local Methodist circuit will be looking for a plan for the future of the building, which could mean simply selling it to whoever offers the most money, to do "whatever they can get planning permission for, and added: "Many chapels around Cornwall have been turned into family accommodation.

"In a way it could be turned into affordable housing, if the right developer came along. That would be one outcome."

The Reverend Robbie Bowen, the chapel's primary minister, said the local circuit was "constrained by charity law, in that we have to get a good deal for it."

He said: "We're willing to talk to anybody with a good idea for the building. One of my pet ideas is if it could be used for affordable holiday accommodation. Maybe in partnership with church groups in London or Birmingham or some place.

"Another possibility... was small business units, start up units, that sort of thing. A place for each person, plus a communal space."

If an idea is not found, the church will be calling in a qualified surveyor at the end of the year, to look at the best way to proceed, and then "market it to the highest bidder."

Anyone with any ideas for the chapel can contact Malcolm Noble on mac.noble@mac.com