A public consultation will be taking place over the proposed closure of St Thomas Church in Minnis Bay and St Mildred’s Church in Acol.
The parochial church council says the closures are necessary due to the substantial cost implications of repairs and maintenance.
Reverend Mark Ham, of Birchington All Saints Parish, told parishioners: “There will be considerable upset, hurt and sadness in the Parish with the closing of buildings but with the challenged financial position, current and historic, there were very limited options left.”
The PCC voted on the closures after the publication of the latest five year report on the condition of church fabric and finances.
A newsletter to parishioners said: “The P.C.C. considered the substantial cost implications from these reports on the repairs necessary to our churches to maintain and sustain them for the future as well as paying our Parish Share, andour other significant every day running costs including maintaining our halls.
“After a lengthy and challenging discussion, the P.C.C. agreed with a 71% vote in favour “to ensure the financial viability of the parish, this P.C.C. approves the closure of St Thomas and St Mildred Churches, to enable the appropriate re-ordering of All Saints Church and Church House. “A strategic vision and business case will be formulated with the full involvement of the church communities.”
Rev Mark has discussed the outcome of the P.C.C. meeting with the Archdeacon and the following phases are to be put in place:
Phase 1: P.C.C. meeting with the Archdeacon and Diocesan Officers (date to be agreed).
Phase 2: Public meetings/consultation with each church community (dates to be agreed).
Phase 3: P.C.C. review of consultation process and next steps.
Churchwarden Loraine Bant said: “We shall be holding the public consultation meetings once the dates are agreed, as described in phase two of the process.”
St. Mildred’s Church was opened and dedicated in 1876. The first service at St Thomas Church was held on Christmas morning in 1932 although the construction was not completed until the following year.
When are the Church of England ,going to start work on the roof of St John’s church Margate,it’s been months and months now since massive holes,on the roof happened,not even covered the holes to stop the rain ,pouring into a listed building ,and ,doing more damage to the Church inside,if I had a listed building in that state Thanet Council would be on me very quickly,why has c/of /e ,allowed to get away with it
The C of E have assets of around £8.5 billion. It is questionable that some Clergy will NOT accept Lotto funding.
Obviously not bringing in sufficient weekly income after paying church levies. Perhaps the churches could set up a crowd funding page.
One hopes that the covenants on the W&B golf course is very tight with no loop holes.
There is a crowdfunding page to get St Paul’s Church clock in Cliftonville going again as it’s seized up and falling apart. The fundraiser has been up about two years but hardly anything has been donated into it. People just don’t bother about churches or Christianity anymore and are not using their churches or putting anything in the plate when it comes round. Other religions are becoming more dominant in the UK. Just like pubs, if you don’t use it you will lose it.
the church is one of the wealthiest institutions around , but you never see them spending anything only rattling the box ?
Nail on head
CoE are so tone deaf and disconnected from any Christian values at this point it is almost painful.
Plenty of cash in CoE and their “duty” is to help the community and spread his good word. It seems like profit over everything the same disease which has over taken and destroyed this once great nation.
The chapel, the shop, the pub and (most of) the bus services… the church and the village hall are all Acol has left!
Prayers obviously not answered.
The rents they charge in Palace St Canterbury were Eye watering back in 1984 when I fitted out a book shop for a lady. Can’t imagine what they are today. Always plead that there skint.
Both churches seem to be in decent order, and both could be used as community spaces.
The Acol church is important architecturally as an early work of C N Beazley, Thanet’s finest Victorian architect
The church should be looking hard at other suitable uses – but is reordering need in Birchington’s principal church. Costly changing whims of changing incumbents should not be met without VERY GOOD reason
Acol already has a village hall. There isn’t enough of community in the village for two spaces, though a micro pub and store would be handy!
However if the village expands, if the mirage of a new airport disappears?