Letters - August 24, 2015

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Have your say

CHURCH CLOSURE

Councillor’s words are ‘ill-advised’

I read with dismay the ill advised comments attributed to Coun John Singleton in today’s Blackpool Gazette about Mereside St Wilfrid.

The Mission and Pastoral Committee in this matter is responding to an already existing situation as it is legally required - the church closed, at the request of its members, on 31st May.

I note you have sounded off without bothering to find out the facts from either myself as Area Dean or the Archdeacon. Everyone has been working very hard to save the church, but far from making money, it has been heavily subsidised for over 20 years, and has paid substantially less to the Diocese than the Diocese has paid to keep a priest there. The congregation fell to single figures.

Do you seriously expect us to maintain a building and vicarage for that number of worshippers?

The Diocese - and I as the Area Dean - have never given up on Mereside, and even now there are explorations afoot to fund a fresh approach to a christian presence in the area.

If the site were to be sold, it would go but a small way towards the expected cost of such a venture, but is currently a net liability to the Diocese.

The comments attributed to you about job-seekers allowance are truly unworthy. I would have expected a more financially astute and considered comment from a member of the party seeking to bring the country’s finance onto a firmer footing.

Rev’d Canon 
Dr Simon Cox

Rector of Bispham All Hallows

Area Dean of Blackpool

MERESIDE ST WILFRID

Please get your
facts right!

I was surprised to read an article in tonight’s Gazette about the imminent closure of St Wilfrid Church, Mereside mainly because as a worshipper at St Wilfrids I attended the final service at the church nearly five months ago.

Can I just point out one or two facts to the councillor writing about the closure:-

St Wilfrid is not on Vicarage Lane in fact Vicarage Lane is not in the parish.

The church has been struggling for quite a few years with an aging congregation most of whom did not live in the Parish having moved but still remained faithful to their church.

The heating of the church was condemned seven years ago and £30,000 was needed to replace it! The result of this was that the winter services took place in the church hall until this last year when the hall heating system was also condemned. This meant that the few groups that did occasionally hire the hall, helping towards running costs, couldn’t, and, had to find alternative accommodation.

We did not have a vicar in the last year as our vicar retired in February 2014, so we had to rely on retired/visiting clergy in our final year.

In the past we have held many events for people of the Parish but you can’t carry on forever when the attendances are poor/ none existant.

In the past 25 years we have had a handful of weddings [the church gardens aren’t pretty enough for photos] I have seen the vicar waiting for christening parties to arrive when parents have forgotten to tell him that they have changed their minds about the date etc.

It’s well known that the majority of people require the church for hatch, match and dispatch but unfortunately and depressingly mainly dispatch .

And finally can I point out that apart from the clergy most churches are run by volunteers ie; gardeners, cleaners, painters, treasurers, group leaders and even in St Wilfrid’s the organist who served the church faithfully for many years as did all the congregation giving their time willingly because of their love and faith in Christ.

Most churches have to finance themselves the Diocese only being responsible for the clergy stipend. The small group that remained in the final days have now moved on to pastures new continuing in their strong faith which has helped them through the difficult times these last few years and I am sure that if an opportunity to revive St Wilfrids presented it’s self they would be only too happy to return to the church they love.

A Sad Parishioner of St. Wilfrid’s.

OBESITY

It will take more than that to save NHS

With the huge increase in diabetes – often linked to obesity – it will take a lot more than a change-over to healthy eating habits and taking regular exercise to save the NHS.

Where the government has reassessed pretty much everyone – including the disabled – re their ability to work, it now needs to assess everyone re their right to have a Blue Badge and claim Mobility.

Where habits such as smoking, drinking and over-eating have led to people claiming immobility, they should perhaps be given a bicycle rather than a Blue Badge. It works for the Dutch and the Danes, why not for (lager-lout) Brits?

Also, with the increase in child and cyclist (clean bill of health) road casualties, the way people drive and park should also be put under the microscope: where blocked arteries can cause the likes of strokes and heart attacks, and indeed blocked drains, pipes and fuel lines etc., can also lead to all manner of health problems, blocked roads cause stress; impatience; the unlawful use of mobile phones, and excessive and inappropriate speed.

None of the latter is conducive to creating a healthy environment in which to walk, jog and cycle.

Why park on the footpath when you have a driveway?

The ethos should be: responsible eating, driving and parking is the road to a healthier, and indeed fairer, NHS and benefit system.

Name and address supplied

CHARITY

Great big thanks to all Aldi customers

On behalf of everyone at N-Vision, Blackpool, Fylde & Wyre Society for the Blind, we would like to thank the customers and staff of Aldi Blackpool, Cleveleys and Fleetwood who raised £547 over 3 days last week with bucket collections.

Thank you also to all our volunteers including 1 new collector who stood with the buckets throughout the day.

All your support is very much appreciated and enables us to continue to offer the many services we do throughout the local area.

Stephanie Beasley

Volunteer Co-ordinator

N-Vision