DEMOLITION experts were today due to begin knocking down the burnt-out shell of Maiden Street Methodist Church in Weymouth amid fears that it could collapse.

Structural engineers representing the Methodist Church, English Heritage and Weymouth and Portland Borough Council, meeting at the site yesterday, decided the remains of the building were unsafe and limited demolition would have to be carried out today in a bid to make the town centre area secure.

Fire swept through the Grade II-listed church last Thursday morning, totally destroying the building, which had been given a £160,000 facelift in 1999.

A small-scale evacuation of neighbouring properties - co-ordinated by the borough council - will be made in the interests of safety while demolition work is carried out.