Post Fri Jun 11, 2010 2:30 am

Church of Scientology to open new HQ in Moseley ... -26615388/

THE Church of Scientology is set to open its new multi-million pound Midland headquarters in Moseley within weeks.

The well-known Grade II-listed Pitmaston building, in Moor Green Lane, was snapped up by the church for £4.25 million two years ago.

It has made the former insurance offices into the headquarters for its Midland operation because a rocketing membership has seen it outgrow premises in Ethel Street, Birmingham.

The church, which has previously denied accusations that it is a cult, lists Hollywood celebrities Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its followers.

Church leaders claim that membership has grown in the West Midlands by 25 per cent in the last ten years and an estimated 27,000 people have taken part in services.

Scientologists are now in talks with the Birmingham City Council over altering the Pitmaston building’s use from an office block to a place of worship. It is expected that the building will be reopened as early as July and will be used to deliver courses to 160 people at a time in its ornate hall, while smaller seminars will be delivered in oak-panelled board rooms at the 1920s-built premises.

Marianne Rowell, one of Scientology’s senior figures, said she hoped to attract a big name celebrity disciple like socialite Peaches Geldof to the opening.............
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