Advertiser appeal boosts church

Advertiser appeal boosts church

Advertiser appeal boosts church

First published in News

A CHURCH facing an uncertain future
due to funds running out has had a
change of fortune following a public
appeal in the Andover Advertiser for
help.
Last week, an emergency meeting was
called to discuss the future of St
Michael and All Angels church, in
Weyhill, after vicar Rev Jill Bentall
revealed that the historic building
would not be able to stay open for much
more than a year if more money was
not found.
It followed years of relying on the
Rectory Lane church’s reserves to keep
it running.
However, Rev Bentall has said that
she is now cautiously optimistic about
the 1,000-year-old church’s future after
more than 60 people turned up to offer
ideas.
The vicar said: “The balance is now
tipping back in our favour – this is very
good news.
“You can never say a voluntary thing
is safe as it always depends on what’s
happening that week, but it’s vastly
more cheerful.
“It was very encouraging and such a
good turnout of people – it did the old
vicar’s heart good.”
Among the ideas parishioners have
come up with to save their church are a
100 club and tax-free gifting. Donations
have also come in from individuals as
well as the Masons.
Rev Bentall added: “There is lots more
work to do but we have made a start
and the signs are good.
“God helps those who help themselves
and I think there is a lot of truth in
some of those old sayings.”
The parish council has already agreed
to take over the financial responsibility
for the grounds maintenance, which
costs about £1,000 a year, and the village
hall will be used for fundraising
events six times a year free of charge.
Suggestions for a toilet and kitchen
facilities within the building are also
being looked into, which could be funded
through grants.
Anyone who can offer any help, ideas
or would like to be part of the 100 club
can contact Rev Bentall on 01264 773554
or email j.cressy@talktalk.net or
jim@jcpengineers.co.uk.

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