The Team Ministry at a historic Colne church are this week launching an appeal to prevent their beloved building from closing.
Christ Church, in Keighley Road, is currently said to be in a “precarious financial position” — with expenditure exceeding income by approximately £8,000 per year.
If the situation does not improve significantly in the next 18 months, then the District Church Council may be forced to shut its doors for good.
However, church wardens Andrew Priestley and Sandra Tetley, the Reverend John Knott and many church members are convinced that this medium-term problem can be resolved if their efforts are backed by the community.
Action is already being taken, with letters being sent to as many households in the parish as possible, and with the regular congregation being asked if they can afford to support their church further.
Developments to the kitchen and Narthex in the church will also be used to generate income and fund-raising events, including a Body Shop party and an Autumn Fair, are already lined up. Any other suggestions, including individuals or businesses putting on their own event for the church, are being welcomed.
In his letter to local residents, which is available to read on our website, Mr Priestley states: “If, like me, you feel it is important to have a local church available for Sunday worship, baptisms, weddings and funerals and all the other associated benefits such as the church based youth organisations please read on.
“The regular giving of the congregation and all the fund-raising events we do just isn’t enough to cover the ongoing costs of running the church.
“It’s a simple case of survival and for this to happen we need to increase our income by about £8,000 each year. Whilst this may sound like a lot of money we have estimated that it represents about £3 per month from every household in the parish.”
And going on to give his reasons on why Christ Church should be saved, Mr Priestley added: “On a personal note the reason I agreed to become a church warden last year and am writing to you in this capacity today is because my late father, Rev. John Priestley, was vicar of Christ Church for 27 years.
“The energy, drive, enthusiasm and compassion he had in life still lives in the hearts of most of the regulars at Christ Church. On many occasions, I have seen this in action with the congregation providing an extended family and support network to people experiencing very difficult periods in their lives.”
Christ Church has been an integral part of the community since it was first built in 1836.
It provides much support to the community, with organisations such as the Mothers and Toddlers Group, uniform groups, and Teen Team using the site on a weekly basis.
It also offers a helping hand to older residents, boasts a thriving Sunday School and puts on many events, including afternoon teas and assemblies at the local primary school. Approximately 50 parishioners attend a service at the church each week.
Talking to the Colne Times, Mrs Tetley said: “We want to be here to serve this side of Colne over the years to come. We have been here 175 years plus and we want to carry it on.”
And Rev. Knott added: “We would also like to see more people have more of a stake in their local church.”
To make a donation please fill out a standing order form, which can be printed off here
There is also the opportunity to complete a gift aid declaration if you are a taxpayer.
Cheques, which should be made payable to “Christ Church, Colne” can be sent to The Vicarage at Christ Church, in Keighley Road.
Alternatively, you can visit the church for its weekly Sunday service at 10-45am.