Conservation body English Heritage has joined councillors in demanding action to save a derelict Grade II listed church in Walsall.
Mellish Road Methodist Church has stood unused for more than a decade and has major structural problems.
Repeatedly targeted by vandals and arsonists, there have long been demands for an improvement to the eyesore.
Now Walsall Council and English Heritage have called on the landowners to produce a detailed timetable of action to put the church right although they would not name the owner
Coun Adrian Andrew, deputy leader of Walsall Council, said: “The important thing to stress is that we are helping to arrange these talks with English Heritage and the landowner, but this is not our property.
“There is a clear limit to what we can do as a council, because we simply don’t own the building.
“However, we are talking about a landmark building that is in the centre of a thriving community and which is passed by thousands of people every day.
“We held a constructive meeting to plot a way forward.
“I think all parties at the meeting realise that action needs to happen, and I’m cautiously optimistic this has helped to give the issue some sense of urgency.
“The landowner has agreed to go away and come back with a timetable for action to resolve the issue by the end of the year.”
Alan Taylor, inspector of historic buildings at English Heritage, said: “We share the concerns of residents and councillors about the derelict state of this landmark building.
“Together with the council we have met the owners and stressed the need for an urgent resolution of its poor condition.”
Architect Ian Ritchie, of Haden Ritchie Bailey, which is acting for the owners, said: “The owners have been investigating alternative uses that would allow the retention and refurbishment of the existing building.”
The church, built in 1909, was severely damaged by fire in February 2008.
Part of the building, which is on the corner of Butts Road and Mellish Road, has already been demolished because it was unsafe.
The church has been closed for almost 20 years and is privately owned.
The authority last year started the process of making a compulsory purchase order to acquire it, but this can take a long time.