Shropshire Star

Future of St Thomas' Church at Halford under the spotlight at public meeting

A public meeting has been called to discuss the future of St Thomas' Church at Halford following concerns that weddings, christenings and funerals will no longer be able to take place.

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Halford Church

Parishioners are also concerned that any decisions could affect the future of the churchyard and maintenance of graves.

The meeting in the church at 7pm on September 12 has been called by the interim vicar, Reverend Mark Sanders.

Former secretary and member of Craven Arms Parochial Church Council Pamela Cowley, said: "The church is Victorian but worship on the site dates back to the 1200s and some of the graves in the churchyard date back to the 1700s.

"We are in the process of advertising for two new vicars for Craven Arms and it seems stupid for suggestions that the church might be closed until these appointments are made.

"The church does need money spending on it such as renewal of the electrics and attention to the roof and there has been a dwindling congregation with no services held since the start of the Coved-19 pandemic.

"People have quoted various figures for the cost of repairs needed to the church but until a vicar is appointed I feel we should not be too hasty in our decisions."

The newly formed parish of Craven Arms for Halford and Stokesay has initiated the discussions about the future of the church.

"I am hoping that as many people as possible will attend the public meeting and help decide the future of the building and whether it should remain open for worship," Pamela said.

"I think that any talk about closure should be paused until a new incumbent is appointed./2

The meeting will be attended by Sarah Girling from the Hereford Diocese and the Venerable Fiona Gibson, Archdeacon of Ludlow.

They will outline the hopes and plans of the Church of England for Craven Arm, Halford and Stokesay.

Everyone who is interested in the future of the church will be welcome to attend.