Anger as repair bill forces Flintshire church to close

Reporter:

Matt Jones

A CONGREGATION has been left devastated after it was announced their church is to close its doors after 138 years.

Worshippers at St David’s Church, Croes Atti Lane, Oakenholt, have been left “hurt and angry” about the closure, which comes after a huge fundraising effort saw more than £7,000 raised for running costs.

But a repair bill of £100,000 proved too much and Flint Parochial Church Council has taken the decision to close it.

Ken Massey, of Flint, said: “We have done a lot of try and save the church. We do not want it to close.

“There is a lot of bitter feeling about the way this has been handled. “There is a resentment in the congregation about how this has been handled.

“The congregation includes about 30 members but if everyone was there, there would be about 38.

“I have been there all my life. I will now be forced to find another church.”

The church was faced with a £100,000 repair bill for a new roof, new guttering and downpipes, a new heating system and work on the interior.

Lay reader David Carrington said: “The congregation is devastated. They did not want it to close.

“There is a lot of hurt and anger over the way this has been handled. We did not want the church to close.

“We did everything we could to try and keep it open. Then we were hit by the £100,00 repair costs, which was step too far.”

The last service at the church is expected to take place on January 9.

Rev Brian Harvey, Rector of Flint and chair of the council said the decision would safeguard the future of Flint’s two other Anglican churches, St Mary’s and St Thomas’.

He said: “The body responsible for the closure is the Parochial Church Council. It had to take a decision on the future of St David’s because of the fact it needs about £100,000 spent on it.

“The congregation asked for six months to see what they could do to raise money. They succeeded in raising the amount of money needed to contribute towards the running costs. That was the first time they managed to raise the full amount in about five years. That was an achievement.”

He added: “We are the only denomination in Flint with three churches. The council had to think about the future of the church. We took the decision to close it because it needed so much money spent on it.

“It is a sad decision because the church has been there 138 years.”

The building and it’s grounds will now become the responsibility of The Representative Body of the Church in Wales.

See full story in the Leader

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