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Church News Volume 3, Issue 8

Dear friends,

In the life of our parish churches April is a time of reflection and change. The Annual Parish Meetings are a time to reflect on all that has happened over the last year, services, events, fund raising and finance. It is a time to say 'thank you' to those who have made extraordinary efforts on behalf of their church taking on responsibilities, doing the jobs which are necessary around the church building, leading worship, playing the music, cleaning the ornaments, looking after the fabric of the building, playing an active role on committees, representing the church at other functions and events.

As we reflect we also give thanks to God for His many blessings bestowed upon us in the last year. Moving acts of worship, new people in our congregations, signs of His Holy Spirit alive and active in our midst. We thank Him for the way He is making the direction we must take as a Benefice clearer as the months go by.

It never ceases to amaze me what time, effort and resources some people will give to keep the church building going. This isn't just because it is a lovely place to hold the Church services, nor only because the buildings are ancient. Many give to keep the Church building open because they realize how important to the life of a village community the Parish church building is. The history of a village is in the fabric of a church, many of the ex-residents in the graveyard.

What is sad is that the majority of villagers are quite happy for a few of their neighbours to support a building they want to see kept open, that they believe is important as a historical building even if not as a place of worship, and for their benefit keep it that way in case they want to use it (a Christening of a child or grandchild, a wedding or maybe a family funeral).

When we reflect on the past and think of how much effort our ancestors put into looking after their church building, the sacrifices they made to build, repair and maintain the fabric and how a village was proud of their church, we ought to realise how important it is to keep it that way.

The worshipping Church community uses these beautiful buildings for services but the time is fast approaching when we the worshiping community, can no longer financially afford to repair them. Unless others see the value of the buildings as historical monuments, places to reflect upon, and give thanks for the past, then sadly the future of our church buildings does look grim.

The worshipping Church community will hold services elsewhere without the financial burden of an ancient building. The village church will fall into disrepair, but the Church will continue.

But it doesn't have to be that way! Upon reflection we can all help to preserve our village church and not leave it to a few people who actually use it for worship. Schemes are available in most of our parishes for people to join and contribute towards the maintenance and repair of the ancient building, as distinct from the worshipping Church who will contribute towards the 'religious' side of activities and ministry. If you want to help preserve the ancient church in your village ask about a 'Friends of' or 'restoration' scheme at the church. Your assistance today will preserve the building for tomorrow and generations to come.

Rev.Ian M. Finn

News Letter Archive.

Last Modified Wednesday 25 May 2011