Page last updated at 09:32 GMT, Friday, 11 July 2008 10:32 UK

Small congregation's large target

St Andrew's
The congregation at the church has to find about 50,000

A church with a regular congregation of fewer than 10 people must find thousands of pounds for building work.

English Heritage has given 87,000 to St Andrew's at Welsh Frankton near Ellesmere, Shropshire, but the congregation must find about 50,000.

The priest in charge, Anne Netherwood, said the government should own many historic churches.

"The Church of England has by far the greatest proportion of listed buildings in the country," she said.

'Run out'

"The maintenance of them is down to the congregation, the PCC (Parochial Church Council), and that doesn't happen in Germany.

"It doesn't happen in France where the state takes over the maintenance of the buildings.

"This wonderful church is part of the national heritage. It's a community building, but the actual maintenance of the building is down to this tiny handful of people."

She added that the parish share has to be paid and this does not go to buildings.

"It goes to pay for the ministry, that's me and the vicarages and things like that, and that's nearly 650 a month.

"We had a very generous legacy, which we've been using, but it's just run out."

Empty church to become restaurant
06 Jul 08 |  Staffordshire
1m in grants for church repairs
05 Jul 08 |  England


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