A church in the diocese of Coventry is set to close its doors next year after it was unable to find a vicar to lead the congregation.
The Church of St Mary and St John in Camp Hill announced in a Facebook post that 31st January will most likely be the last Sunday service due to a lack of funding and unsuccessful attempts to find a permanent replacement leader.
The first vicar of the church, Rev Dennis Sneath, served for 61 years until 2013. Following this, the assistant curate of neighbouring church St Mary’s Abbey, Revd Thomas Wintle, assumed the leadership position until 2018. However, since then the church has struggled to gather even just for services on Sundays.
We are deeply sorry to announce St. Mary & St. John, Camp Hill will be closing its doors for the final time. This will...Posted by St Mary & St John, Camp Hill on Sunday, September 13, 2020
In a statement, the diocese of Coventry explained the problems the parish has experienced in trying to find a new vicar. “Although the parish has been well-served by local clergy, all attempts to recruit a new minister have been unsuccessful.
“A recent meeting of the Parochial Church Council considered the pastoral care of the small congregation. The council agreed that the congregation could be invited to worship at the nearby Abbey Church, where their former curate is now the vicar. With a heavy heart, they also agreed that the ongoing ministry of the church was financially unsustainable.”
In the statement, the diocese goes on to explain that the process to close a church is complex and that such a process has not yet started for this church.
“The closure of any church building requires a formal process which includes a period of consultation with all interested parties," the diocese explained. "This formal process has not yet begun, but it is likely to start in the near future.”