AN OLD edition of the Andover Advertiser has resurfaced as the church which discovered it prepares to close its doors for good.

Echoes of the past were revived in the 1990s when a time capsule, buried in the United Reform Church on East Street more than 120 years before, was opened again.

The glass jar had been carefully sealed by using solder to secure the metal lid and as a result the contents had not deteriorated.

These included a copy of the Andover Advertiser dated May 23 1879 which was in pristine condition.

Also enclosed in the time capsule was a report of the Order of Service for when the school rooms at the church were first opened on June 18 1879. It was within those school rooms the time capsule was unearthed when they were demolished.

The capsule remained unopened until 2002, when it was thought the contents ought to be examined and properly archived.

There were also notes on scripture lessons, a copy of The Sunday School Chronicle of June 13 1879 and a copy of the Andover Congregational Church Messenger, priced at 1d.

READ MORE: Back to 1879 as time capsule reveals all

Among those invited to be present at the opening of the time capsule was then Andover Advertiser editor Joe Scicluna, who said it was thrilling to see this copy of the newspaper in such wonderful condition after all these years.

"This underlines the important role attached to a newspaper such as ours which reliably records and reflects life within the community," he said.

Today, the church and its members are preparing to close its doors.

As previously reported, the historic church has suffered from dwindling congregation numbers and can no longer remain open.

However, the pews were packed on June 26, for a service of thanksgiving to celebrate the life and work of the church.

Church elder Marian Brewer says the members are now sorting through various archives, and once again came across the historic newspaper.

READ MORE: Andover United Reformed Church prepares to close its doors 

She added that they hope to donate it to Andover Museum, to be preserved for future generations to view.

Andover Congregational Church, as it was originally known, has stood in East Street since it was completed in 1702, making it the oldest church building in Andover.

Parts of the building are listed - although there is some uncertainty and debate among members as to which parts - and it is as yet unknown what it's future purpose will be.

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