Fears for Hampshire church's future

Daily Echo: Worshippers fear for the future of their Hampshire church Worshippers fear for the future of their Hampshire church

AFTER 150 years as the hub of the community, the fate of a much-loved Hampshire church hangs in the balance.

St Peter’s, a small, picturesque church in Ovington, is in financial dire straits and parishioners fear it could close by the end of the year.

Elizabeth Stevenson, secretary to Ovington and Itchen Stoke Parochial Church Council, said: “We are desperate to keep the church open but our income does not cover our outgoings. We can manage to keep it going to the end of the year. We just don’t know what to do.

“Our killer is the Parish Share as it’s nearly £12,000 a year. It’s that that’s killing us. All churches have to pay it. There are one or two who don’t pay it and they are therefore more likely to be shut down.”

The Parish Share is the scheme by which a local church repays costs which have been met on its behalf – mostly comprising the cost of paying clergy.

Churchwarden Sarah Thorne, of Coal Lane, has been attending St Peter’s for 30 years. She said: “The church is the centre of our community. It would be absolutely heart-breaking if it were to close. We ran a fete which raised £3,000 and have held concerts, but it’s not enough.

“These funds have met the basic running costs of the church but are nowhere near what’s needed, and there are just simply not enough people to do it.”

The PCC has also agreed to raise funds for £65,000 worth of repairs to the church, but with a congregation currently standing at 10 to 20 people for the weekly service, the council must establish whether villagers want to maintain the church.

Mrs Stevenson said: “We all take turns to keep it open during the week and the church is just loved and it’s a beautiful church. It would be such a shame if it was closed.”

Comments (5)

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8:35am Sun 16 Sep 12

huckit P says...

Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have?
With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own?
Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have? With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own? huckit P
  • Score: 0

10:13am Sun 16 Sep 12

southy says...

huckit P wrote:
Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have?
With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own?
What having those at the top having to have less, C of E is just like any other Religion its a business.
Most Religions preach a type of Socialism, but it is run by a bunch of Capitalist, just out to make money from the less well off, and to control them.

Maybe they can aquire the church and take it out of the Church LTD, and let the village run it.
[quote][p][bold]huckit P[/bold] wrote: Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have? With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own?[/p][/quote]What having those at the top having to have less, C of E is just like any other Religion its a business. Most Religions preach a type of Socialism, but it is run by a bunch of Capitalist, just out to make money from the less well off, and to control them. Maybe they can aquire the church and take it out of the Church LTD, and let the village run it. southy
  • Score: 0

1:05pm Sun 16 Sep 12

Ted Rogers says...

Few clues here; attendance of weekly service 10-20.
Ovington shares boundaries with Avington and Itchen Abbas, also Easton.
Add the combined attendance and you'll probably have one sustainable church.

Sell the church to some one who wishes to Convert it to a family home.

Most of those parishioners don't look like they'll be around for the long haul anyway, so with the latest youth survey placing religion a long way down their concerns and interests the futures not bright for this church or many others - thankfully.
Few clues here; attendance of weekly service 10-20. Ovington shares boundaries with Avington and Itchen Abbas, also Easton. Add the combined attendance and you'll probably have one sustainable church. Sell the church to some one who wishes to Convert it to a family home. Most of those parishioners don't look like they'll be around for the long haul anyway, so with the latest youth survey placing religion a long way down their concerns and interests the futures not bright for this church or many others - thankfully. Ted Rogers
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Sun 16 Sep 12

G-man1 says...

southy says...
10:13am Sun 16 Sep 12


huckit P wrote:
Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have?
With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own?
What having those at the top having to have less, C of E is just like any other Religion its a business.
Most Religions preach a type of Socialism, but it is run by a bunch of Capitalist, just out to make money from the less well off, and to control them.

Maybe they can aquire the church and take it out of the Church LTD, and let the village run it.”

Too right. I 'm not religous but go to church a few times per year- obligatory baptisms, funerals, Xmas etc. What always astonishes me is that when the collection plate goes round the poorer parishes, its full and you can see there are pensioners giving a large proportion of their pension. Go to a richer parish and there's normally sod all in the plate. Whatever happened to tithes?
southy says... 10:13am Sun 16 Sep 12 huckit P wrote: Would a church be considered a listed building? If so, what effect would closing it and it falling into a state of direpair have? With the CofE being such a huge landowner and being quite wealthy in its own right why can't they help their own? What having those at the top having to have less, C of E is just like any other Religion its a business. Most Religions preach a type of Socialism, but it is run by a bunch of Capitalist, just out to make money from the less well off, and to control them. Maybe they can aquire the church and take it out of the Church LTD, and let the village run it.” Too right. I 'm not religous but go to church a few times per year- obligatory baptisms, funerals, Xmas etc. What always astonishes me is that when the collection plate goes round the poorer parishes, its full and you can see there are pensioners giving a large proportion of their pension. Go to a richer parish and there's normally sod all in the plate. Whatever happened to tithes? G-man1
  • Score: 0

8:10pm Sun 16 Sep 12

BenjiWinsor says...

Southy, they probably pay by direct debit.
Southy, they probably pay by direct debit. BenjiWinsor
  • Score: 0

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