Hoping for a positive future
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