19 March 2011

Appealing for your help!

I was invited along to Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church this week to find out more about the current financial problems, which have been widely reported in local newspapers. I met Rev. Andy Harding and Church Warden Mick Hollands - pictured below - Mick (left) and Andy (right).

The Church is currently facing a huge financial problem and is appealing to the local community for help. A letter of appeal (below) will be published in the next edition of Village Voices and in The Beacon (Parish Magazine). Information is also being delivered to local residents in coming weeks.

The long and short of the situation is that the Church’s expenditure exceeds their income by at least £2000 per month. This has been made worse by the recent discovery of a major structural problem that will cost around £165,000 to repair.

Even if, like me, you aren’t a regular church goer, there’s no doubt having a Church in the village does help maintain a sense of community, so do read the letter of appeal (below) for more background information about the financial situation.

With limited options for raising additional income, the Church is desperately seeking financial support from the local community.

Attached to this post are copies of the relevant Gift Aid, Direct Debit and Donation forms. To open these forms – just click on the images and print. You can also get in touch via the Contact Page of this website and I’ll email these forms to you. The donation forms are also available at TAGGS Coffee Shop (25 High Street, Hoo).

As well as the financial appeal from the Church itself, an independent petition has been launched by members of the community who want to help safeguard the Church’s future. The petition is asking the Bishop of Rochester, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, to "provide adequate funding to keep Hoo St. Werburgh Parish Church open."

Hundreds of local people have already signed the petition, demonstrating a real sense of how people feel about the local Church. It will hopefully do much to highlight the urgent need for donations.

For further information, contact any of the following: Stuart Coombes on 01634 251705, Rev. Andy Harding on 01634 250291, Mick Hollands on 01634 251979, Laura Judges on 01634 251253 or Linda Jones on 01634 253378.