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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Vicar allays fears that All Saints Church might close

The vicar of Cockermouth has moved to dispel fears that the town’s All Saints Church may be forced to close because of financial problems.

All Saints Church Cockermouth photo
All Saints Church

The Rev Wendy Sanders, team rector for the Cockermouth Area Team, said closure was not an option.

She spoke to reassure churchgoers after the Bishop of Carlisle, the Right Rev James Newcome, recently attended a meeting with them to discuss concerns.

A handout circulated at the meeting said that something had to be done to prevent possible closure and to look at ways of raising money.

A Diocese of Carlisle spokesman said that while there were no plans to close the building, there had been discussions over the future of worship there.

The Bishop said no decision had been reached and that discussions were continuing.

Mrs Sanders said: “There is no talk about closing All Saints Church.

“We are struggling financially but we are looking at how we can work that out and looking at various options.

“We do need more money to help maintain the church.

“The cost for the day-to-day running of the church is the responsibility of the congregation.”

She said a final decision was some months away.

The church’s regular monthly costs are £5,235, which is £3,000 more than its assured monthly income.

A significant part of regular expenditure is used to fund the parish and clergy.

Stuart Hoddinott, church treasurer, said the annual shortfall this year was £20,000 because of some exceptional income items which indicated there was a manageable loss.

However, this was unlikely to be repeated as the church could not budget in future for uncertain items.

All Saints Church has an average congregation of 35 and it is struggling with expenses associated with a building of its age and size.

Mr Hoddinott said: “Fund-raising activities have raised several thousands of pounds which has covered most of the building costs so far this year, but we know that there is likely to be a lot more expense to come.”

A meeting of the parish church council will take place on September 17, but Mrs Sanders said that it was not clear whether the future of the building would be discussed then.

She said that two other churches in the area, the town’s Christ Church and St Bridget’s Church at Bridekirk, were on a stable financial footing.

l Opinion – Page 10

Have your say

Seems to me, the people who go to All Saints would like it to stay open for the folk of the town and beyond to use when they need it. They see All Saints as a valuable resource.
If it does close its doors to the townspeople, then we can only surmise that perhaps the Bishop and the Rector did have other plans after all. Only time will tell.

Posted by Church Mouse on 24 August 2013 at 21:15

Mary is right when she says we cannot afford to lose the Parish Church as a resource in Cockermouth. People may not use it every day or even every week. but it is there for those in need.

Imagine no weddings, baptisms or funerals for the people of the town. Unthinkable.

JS is right in saying that the Bishop does have plans to close the Parish Church but both the Bishop and the Rector are playing an interesting trump card. They've found a way of closing the church whilst appearing to want to keep it open. Helps them save face while getting what they really want.
Sad indictment of the C of E really!

Here's hoping the Bishop, the Rector and any other interested parties see sense...and fast!

In the meantime, let's hope and pray that the members of All Saints succeed in keeping the church open for everyone as JS suggests.

Posted by TD on 21 August 2013 at 20:48

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