RIGHT now the UK is in an unholy mess due to Brexit and the Covid epidemic. People can’t get their hands on gasoline, supermarket shelves are all but bare, and there is a chronic shortage of HGV drivers. In short, the country is in crisis.
So the very last thing on the minds of sceptical Brits is the state of their crumbling churches.
Yet, according to Premier Christian News, a devout Christian Conservative Party MP and ardent Brexiteer, Andrew Selous, above, wants taxpayers to fund the cost of church repairs over the next five years – an estimated £1-billion.
Selous, who speaks for the Church of England in the House of Commons, has warned that parishes are “far off ” raising the funds required to meet the repair costs.
He was apparently reacting to a report that church near Rotherham has appealed for help to fix an ongoing mould issue.
PCN reports that worshippers at St Simon and St Jude in Thurcroft have been put off by the “scab-like” peeling on the walls caused by worsening damp in the building.
Treasurer Phil Owen says the church faces costs of around £50,000 to tackle the problem. While grants are available, Owen says they are “few and far between”. He said that the church is only receiving about £100 a week in donations.
We try and fundraise to the best of our ability but in the current climate it’s very, very difficult.
I’m not very confident at all that we will get funds in the short-term. It seems a problem that there is no financial means to provide for at this stage.
It will take us a long, long time to raise anything like that. Our fundraising during lockdown was round about £2,000, previous to lockdown you’re only talking about £3,500, £4,000 per annum.
Owen said that any government funding:
Would be welcomed with open arms. People from the village will come to the church, but they don’t come to the church on a weekly basis. Were the church to disappear, the village would certainly miss it.
According to Yahoo!, Owen added:
The biggest problem you have is people’s perception that the Church of England is very, very rich and sitting on billions of pounds.
Well the Church of England is sitting on billions of pounds, but a lot of that is asset value.
The mould issue is not what’s keeping people away. Locals here, and in other parishes, are simply no longer interested in attending churches.
This is confirmed by Roland Alden, church warden at the All Saints Church in the village of Richard’s Castle, in Shropshire.
He says while their building is in a good state of repair weekly attendance had dropped. The church is no longer providing weekly services and instead is becoming a “festival church”, focusing on the bigger events in the liturgical calendar and key ceremonies such as weddings and funerals, while trying to extend its offering to the community as a place for events.
He added that Government funding to “prime the pump” could help put churches such as his on a more sustainable footing by attracting people back.
I think as a country and a society we need to maintain some of these wonderful buildings.
I agree, but only if they are transformed into something that’s actually useful, like housing the homeless, or converting them into pubs, clubs and leisure centres.
Afterthought: Why do Christian leaders always look so damn miserable? Above is Sid Cordle, leader of the Christian People’s Alliance.
Please report any typos/errors to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’d like to buy me a cup of coffee – and boy, do I get through a LOT of coffee keeping this site active – please click the link below.