Church not to close but support it

Ven Steve Wilcockson, Archdeacon of Doncaster.
Ven Steve Wilcockson, Archdeacon of Doncaster.

RELIGIOUS leaders have urged parishioners to regularly attend services to ensure that a village church remains open.

An archdeacon has dismissed fears for the future of St Bartholomew’s Church in Eastfoft following claims by an Isle reverend that the venue could close because it was ‘struggling to keep its head above water,’

But the venerable Steve Wilcockson said more people had to start attending the church more regularly rather than one off events such as harvest festivals and christenings.

The Archdeacon of Doncaster said: “There are no specific plans at present to close any of the Marshlands churches. Indeed, we are working hard to find ways in which, along with other local parishes, they can be supported and provided with ministry. I greatly enjoyed preaching at St. Margaret’s, Swinefleet recently at harvest, attended by a good number of people from all over the Marshlands area.

“If that level of support can translate into regular Sunday attendance and genuine financial commitment, there will be no reason to regard any of the Marshlands parishes as unsustainable.”

Earlier this month reverend Ken Sargeantson said more parishioners needed to support St Bartholomew’s otherwise he feared that the Diocese of Sheffield would close it.

Mr Sargeantson, who is officially retired, said he had been holding weekly church services as well as weddings, funerals and christenings since the last full time vicar moved on three years ago.

He added at the time that the Parochial Church Council had seen its membership dwindle from around a dozen members to just two church wardens and another member.