AN emergency meeting has been organised to discuss the future of an 800-year-old church that could close its doors later this year due to financial problems.
Rumours have been circulating for some time that St Michael and All Angels Church, in Main Street, Tatenhill, was struggling to remain open for regular worship after it emerged it was no longer ‘financially viable’.
Now, a public meeting will take place to talk over the future of the parish church.
Alan Rowley, of the parochial church council, told the Mail: “To put it bluntly, we don’t generate enough money to keep the church open.
“If the church is to close, it will impact a lot of people and this is why we have decided to hold this meeting, so that members of the public can have their say.
“The church has been around for more than 800 years and now faces just being left empty.
“It has to be decided what we do about the church and also what we do about the church grounds.
“People are still being buried there and, although that would have to stop, the area will still need looking after and be kept tidy.
“I would urge anyone who lives in the village and cares about the church to come along to the meeting and let their feelings be known.
“With a congregation averaging 15 on alternative Sundays, the church is not financially viable.
“The Archdeacon of Stoke and Reverend Andrew Ridley will discuss the options for the future, which could possibly result in closure of the church later in the year.
“It is not a foregone conclusion that the church will close, but at the present time the future is in the balance.”
The meeting is to take place at 7pm tomorrow at Tatenhill Village Hall, in Main Street, and is open to all concerned about the future of the church.