A VICAR has pleaded with people to help keep an 800-year-old church open by saying that those involved with it are not ‘goodie-goodie, religious nerds and Bible bashers’.
Reverend Andrew Ridley made the statement as he attempted to drum up support to keep St Michael and All Angels Church, in Main Street, Tatenhill, as an ‘active place of worship’.
His comments were made after a plea for help last month seemingly fell on deaf ears, with no volunteers coming forward.
He said: “For many years, we have wrestled with the problem of how to keep the church open as a place of worship.
“Since we met to discuss the future of the church, we wrote to the parish council to elicit their help, perhaps with a community group, to establish St Michael’s as ‘chapel of ease’, consisting of a sufficiently large group of people with the commitment and enthusiasm to raise funds and organise church life.
“To date, we have received several suggestions of fund-raising but, as yet, no-one has come forward to serve on a church committee.
“The church committee is a vital constituent to the process of becoming a ‘chapel of ease’, as it is the body which would be responsible for the fabric of the building. We are assured that many villagers are anxious to see St Michael’s continue, but don’t necessarily want to come to church and are perhaps put off from volunteering to serve on a church committee because they think it could be made up of goodie-goodie, religious nerds and Bible bashers.”
The emergency meeting held last month came a year after a similar gathering took place, when it was believed that financial issues could have meant that the church would have to close its doors.
Concerns were raised over the future of the church after it was revealed the average size of the congregation was just 15.
Anyone who would like to get involved and help save the church is urged to call Rev Ridley on 01283 712359 or email firstname.lastname@example.org