St. Andrew's Church in Witchford, Cambridgeshire has said it’s facing a daunting challenge as it grapples with an unexpectedly high gas bill.
The church, with a modest Sunday congregation of fewer than 20 people, has found itself struggling to cover its escalating expenses, including an almost doubled gas bill compared to the previous year.
In an interview with Premier Christian News, church warden Rosemary Westwell expressed her shock upon seeing the latest gas bill for December and January. She said they were “absolutely alarmed” when they got a has bill for £818.
The church decided to take to social media to share a link, asking for others to help donate to the bill.
“[We’ve had] a couple of donations,” Westwell said. “We're obviously hoping for more”.
She said the church does its best with creative fundraising ideas.
“We've got two lovely people who do craft and flowers and a wonderful flower festival in May, Bank Holiday May.
“We have in the region of £1,700 a month to find to run the church which is always a big worry and of course it's covering repairs and groundworks and caretaker and insurance that's quite costly.
“And we have to pay Wi-Fi, light and heating, water, and the clergy when they come and do special services... so it all mounts up”.
Westwell expressed concerns about the future of the church but remains hopeful.
“We do have a small group of people in the village who support us well and we we've been going for several years while I've been church warden. When we started we didn't even have a toilet but somehow we've managed to raise enough for a toilet in the church”.
The church currently relies on the generosity and “friends” in the community.
“We have a lovely little band that run a coffee morning, first and third Wednesdays in the hall opposite,” Westwell said. “That money goes to the friends, and their friends help the church.”
She expressed the need for prayer for their small town church.
“We have all sorts of other difficulties going on. So like any little church, I think we all need prayer constantly.”