An open letter from Alice Goodall, the Rector of the Shelswell Group of Parishes.
At the risk of sounding a bit melodramatic, I am really worried about the future of Stratton Audley Church. As the village’s oldest building, it represents the worship, prayers and generosity of hundreds of villagers for generations. It provides a sublime setting for weddings, baptisms, funerals and services as well as serving as a venue for a myriad of community events. But at the moment it faces two significant problems: lack of funds, and lack of people to help run the church week by week
Please could you think about what support you might be able to offer, and hopefully your church can continue to be open and active for many more centuries!
People to help
Stratton Audley still has the biggest congregation of our churches, but over recent years its members have grown older. Many have helped out over the years, have served as church warden or on the Parochial Church Council (PCC), but can do so no longer. Currently Stratton has no church warden and no secretary, and our PCC has only four members of which three will be leaving by the end of the year. It is difficult to envisage how the church will function at that point.
Would you be prepared to act as a friend of the church, come along to PCC meetings and take on some of the responsibilities? We really need you!
Church finances were becoming more difficult before March, but the pandemic has meant no income from other groups using the church, cancelled weddings, and much reduced income from the collection plate. But apart from a small saving on electricity, essential expenses have continued and now significantly outstrip incomings.
On this basis, by end March 2022, the church will have run out of money.
Many people are under the misapprehension that the Church of England has pots of money and can bail us out. Sadly that is not the case and local communities have become responsible for the upkeep of their own church. Stratton Audley is no different.
What can you do to help?
- Sign up to the Parish Giving Scheme, enabling you to give by direct debit on a regular basis. It is very straight forward to set up: you choose how much to give and how often – monthly, quarterly or yearly. You may join the scheme over the phone on 0333 002 1271 or by competing a paper form. Find out more from
- Give a one off donation, either in cash or into our bank account. Contact the Rector or one of the PCC members for details.
Contact Alice Goodall on 01280 848192 / firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss further.