Church needed support

Local residents are upset at plans to demolish the now closed St Cecilia's Church in Parson Cross. Our picture shows the boarded up church.
Local residents are upset at plans to demolish the now closed St Cecilia's Church in Parson Cross. Our picture shows the boarded up church.
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A church threatened with demolition ‘has to go’ according to one of its congregation - who says that local people didn’t care about the building until it was too late.

Jane George, the former organist at St Cecilia’s on Chaucer Close, in Parson Cross, said: “I have a lot of respect and love for the people trying to save the church, but I don’t feel they have got a realistic hold on the situation.

“My blood boils at this sanctimonious attitude that they seem to hold.”

The Church of England Church Commissioners recently announced plans to bulldoze the building and sell the site, following its closure almost two years ago.

Last week a group of residents voiced their concern about the plans, urging the public to come forward to save the church, which was built in the 1930s.

But Jane says she can’t see any alternative to the demolition.

She said: “The church peaked in the 1960s and 1970s with a congregation of 70 or 80 people. Since then, it’s just been in continual decline.”

She asked where the campaigners were when Sunday services were held in recent years, adding: “I know one of them has not darkened the door for 30 years.”

Around £250,000 would be needed for repairs, and further donations would be required for maintenance.

Church Commissioners said the church had ‘a low number of worshippers and a lack of funds’.

Jane, aged 57, who attended St Cecilia’s since 1970, getting married and having her children baptised there, said: “People seem to be under the impression that the Church of England is rolling in cash when it simply isn’t.

“I don’t believe those people who claim to support St Cecilia’s. Maybe they could raise the money, maybe they could reopen it, but could they maintain it? I don’t think so.

“People around the area have treated it with complete indifference. It was a great place but now it has to go.”

Email katie.lowe@churchofengland.org.uk or call 0207 898 1737 to comment on the demolition plans.