Hop­ing for a pos­i­tive fu­ture

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On Sun­day, June 24, a spe­cial ser­vice of Even­song con­ducted by the Rev Michael Cartwright, to co­in­cide with the Pa­tronal Fes­ti­val of St Peter, was held in the Re­dun­dant Church of St Peter, North Barn­ing­ham, north Nor­folk. The lo­cal Benefice Choir pro­vided ex­cel­lent cho­ral sup­port through­out.

This church, like so many oth­ers in East Anglia, had be­come of­fi­cially re­dun­dant un­der the terms of the Pas­toral Mea­sure of 1969.

How­ever, in 1973 it be­came pos­si­ble to ar­range a Pa­tronal Fes­ti­val Ser­vice at North Barn­ing­ham on June 29. This was widely pub­li­cised and be­tween 70 and 80 peo­ple took part in a ser­vice of Even­song. This was the first in a se­quence of these an­nual fes­ti­val ser­vices which has been main­tained ever since.

Al­though such churches were de­scribed as “re­dun­dant” and were main­tained by the Re­dun­dant Churches Fund, this was clearly a mis­nomer and the re­spon­si­ble body is now re­ferred to as The Churches Conservation Trust which re­ceives a cer­tain amount of pub­lic fund­ing with par­tic­u­lar ref­er­ence to build­ings of out­stand­ing ar­chi­tec­tural merit.

Non- Con­formist places of wor­ship have a cor­re­spond­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion, known as the ‘His­toric Chapels Trust’, which was es­tab­lished in 1993 to care for his­toric places of wor­ship out­side the Church of Eng­land. This has been funded by His­toric Eng­land ( for­merly English Her­itage).

From now on The Churches Conservation Trust will be re­spon­si­ble also for the day-to- day run­ning of the His­toric Chapels Trust. A strate­gic re­view of all op­er­a­tions and com­mit­ments is be­ing un­der­taken so that there will be a pos­i­tive long term fu­ture for all the many out­stand­ing build­ings in­volved.

DEREK PAL­GRAVE, By email

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