Last service at vandal-hit St Paul's Church

Gazette: Last service at vandal-hit St Paul's Church Last service at vandal-hit St Paul's Church

A 100-YEAR-OLD church targeted by vandals and lead thieves is set to hold its final service.

St Paul’s Church in Makins Road, Parkeston, will close to public worship on January 26.

The date will mark almost a hundred years of St Paul’s and the final service will celebrate this.

Vandalism and lead theft left the building in a poor state of repair, which the church committee could not afford to fix.

Earlier this year there had been hopes someone would come forward with a plan to keep it open. Two consultations were held, but the decision was taken to close the church.

Rev Peter Mann said: “Over the last few years, it has become clear that St Paul’s building has been in need of major repair.

“The main problem has been the roof that needs repairs that have been estimated at well over £200,000.

“This is well beyond the means of the parish and so, sadly, we decided to close.

“There have been two consultations – one by the diocese of Chelmsford and one by the Church Commissioners and they both agree with the decision.”

The Diocese of Chelmsford will take over the building and secure it while it looks for an alternative and suitable use.

Rev Mann added: “St Paul’s has many artefacts with precious memories. Those that have special meaning will be put in safe keeping and some will be transferred to other churches.

“This will take some time, but we do not want to lose items that gave St Paul’s its unique importance.”

The church is now looking for people’s memories of the church and village life. These can include photographs and other memorabilia which will be used to make a display at the service.

  • If you would like to contribute they can be left at the Rectory, 51 Highfield Avenue, Dovercourt or e-mailed to cookbird@gmail.com.
  • For more details, call Sue Sutcliffe 07972 530711.

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