Thursday, 26 November 2015

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Cumbrian churches under threat

The futures of two community churches are hanging in the balance as both face financial pressures.

Church photo
St Michael’s Church, Arlecdon

St John’s Church at Cleator Moor and St Michael’s at Arlecdon are both under severe threat of closure.

The Arlecdon church has poor heating and dry rot but there is not enough cash to deal with the problems.

And at Cleator Moor the roof needs substantial repairs, which is also expected to cost a lot more than the church has. Work is ongoing to find a different location for the congregation to worship in, if the decision is made to shut the church.

Archdeacon of west Cumbria Dr Richard Pratt said there was still “hope” at Arlecdon because when worship recommences after the winter, as the isolated church is too cold to use during that time, there could be a “revival”.

However, the future of St John’s is hanging in the balance.

Work which was carried out to the roof 20 years ago was done so in a “bad” way and now needs even more substantial repairs to timbers, battens and slates.

“It is going to cost more money than the church is ever likely to have,” said Dr Pratt. “And even if they spent all that on it, there would still be more to spend – heating, access, the floor, etc.”

He added that there was a good congregation at Cleator Moor and a new service which is growing.

The two churches are in the Crosslacon benefice, which consists of the husband and wife team of the Rev Peter Turnbull and the Rev Jacqueline Curtis, who were appointed in 2008.

Dr Pratt added: “I am really saddened that Peter and Jackie and the congregations have got to face these very difficult problems.


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