"We are in trouble" - cash shortfall prompts question marks over long-term future of village church
PUBLISHED: 13:19 10 May 2019 | UPDATED: 14:55 10 May 2019
The village church of Colaton Raleigh is facing the risk of permanent closure in the long-term if it doesn't plug a monthly shortfall of £300, its reverend has warned.
The Rev Mark Ward said it costs £18,000 each year - or £1,500 a month - to keep the church open, but the regular financial shortfall is putting pressure on its operation.
A meeting has been organised this week to inform community members what they can do to support the church to ensure it remains open.
Mr Ward said: "It would be incorrect to give the impression that the church is under immediate danger of closure.
"But whether or not you have been inside Colaton Raleigh church in the last year, this message is addressed to you. Our church is in trouble.
"We have received donations and legacies over the years but they are for the upkeep of the building."
Mr Ward said the church building itself is in 'really good condition', having been re-roofed.
However, a lack of funds for its day-to-day operation poses the most risk.
He said: "What is in danger is the church not being an open, flourishing thriving church.
"There is no danger of losing the building.
"This meeting will be held to share the good news about having an opening, living church in your village and telling people about the church, what it is and what it does.
"But we will be making no bones about it - and asking people whether they could enter into planned giving towards the church.
"We also want them to become involved in the life of the church.
"While the money will be a means to and end, the real end is that we want a church that's a living church.
"It is here to bring glory to God in the community of Colaton Raleigh.
"Unless we do something about it, our church, which we often take for granted will no longer be there for us.
"The situation is not without hope, but we urgently need the help of the wider community."
The meeting will be held at Colaton Raleigh Village Hall today (May 10) from 7.30pm.
A free glass of wine or soft drink will be offered.