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Inside this issue:

The Parishes of St.Andrews, Northwold, All Saints, Wretton with Stoke Ferry & Christ Church, Whittington

Reader: Keith MacLeod, West Barn, Whindrove Farm, West Dereham, telephone 07766 766137, email: keith.macleod@virgin.net

money for maintenance, because our income was risible and our historical resources even more so - and in time the place would have become dangerous.   After several years of asking villagers to take an interest and receiving an almost blanket lack of interest, we closed it down.   Wretton is now going the same way!   Our income is low and dependent almost totally on one person's giving and our Church attendance is also low.   The Church dates back to the early 13th Century and there are some wonderfully historic carvings on the pews etc.   We spent money on transferring the organ into the Church from Stoke Ferry and completely renovating (and it is a historically valuable organ!). We have recently spent money on replacing collapsing floors and we have an application with English Heritage to re-do a roof which is badly failing. They will want to know how much we can raise locally before they pore more money into it! It will be a terrible shame to have to close down and sell it for conversion into a warehouse or a stable again (the last time it was a stable was when

Keith MacLeod's monthly report

PAYING FOR OUR CHURCHES

I have had a few comments (not to say criticisms!) recently about the finances of our local churches, while they are in interregnum - especially in Wretton and Stoke Ferry.   There is a concern as to how the Church of England can sell the Church at Stoke Ferry and none of the proceeds flows back into the local Church purse and also as to the rents received from letting the Vicarage in Wretton - where again it seems that we get no local benefit.

We have a Wretton with Stoke Ferry Parochial Church Council meeting coming up on 2nd November at 10.30 am in Wretton Church, to which any members of the public are invited.   They can ask questions and make comments, but will not, unless they are members of the PCC be able to vote on anything. However, I will be chairing the meeting and will happily try to deal with any issues any one wants to raise.
I can imagine that this event is not going to grab most people as the most exciting thing since sliced bread and so I thought I would say a few words here about the issue for the general interest of people who live in the parishes. They can write or call me if they want to take it further but do not want to attend the meeting.
Very broadly speaking the Church organises its finances as follows.   The Church Commissioners own all the Churches and the Churchyards

surrounding them, but local Church Wardens and PCCs have the responsibility for maintaining them at their own expense. Clergy are paid their stipends and pension contributions and have their housing provided by the Diocese (in this case the Diocese of Ely) at Diocesan expense.   The Diocese has some funds of its own, but mainly relies on the Parishes to make a contribution every year to the total Diocesan expense - this used to be called 'Quota', but is now called 'Parish Share'.   At any one time a number of Parishes in the Diocese may have a Vacancy - ie no priest in residence (this is currently our position).   The Parish Shares are worked out so that the Diocese can meet its total Budget, with 'rich' churches effectively subsidising 'poor' ones and allowing for the 'savings' to be made form the vacancies that exist.   Rents from vacant Vicarages help to meet the costs of their redecoration etc and to fill the central pot out of which the Diocese's clergy are paid.   (In Wretton's case, the cost of the recent re-furbishing cost many, many months' (maybe years') rental income.
How do we fit into this? Well, as regards our responsibility to maintain our Churches, Wretton and Stoke Ferry we have effectively been very poor stewards for many years.   The reason we asked for Stoke Ferry Church to be closed was partly because of falling Church attendance, but principally because as a PCC, we took the decision not to pay any more

Sunday School - All Welcome

There is a Sunday School during the main Sunday services at St. Andrew's Church, Northwold (except for Sunday's with All Age Worship).
This is open to any school age child living in the villages of Northwold, Wretton, Stoke Ferry, Whittington and Brookville. If you are not able to stay with your child please drop them off by 10.50 am and collect them by 12.15 pm

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