A public meeting is taking place this evening (September 20) over the proposed closure of St Thomas Church in Minnis Bay.
In May the parochial church council said the closure of both St Thomas and St Mildred’s Church in Acol was 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 a five year report on the condition of church fabric and finances.
A newsletter to parishioners said: 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.”
The meeting will take place tonight from 7pm at Quex Hall, Birchington CEP School, Park Lane, Birchington.
The public consultation exercise concludes on Monday 30th October at noon.
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.