“MAGNIFICENT” is the word that Mrs Dorothy Winter used to describe the St Augustine’s Church whilst speaking at the recent Annual Town Meeting – but it’s not just the building she was referring to, but also the community that gathers around the church that seeks to give comfort for all.
Dorothy gave a report back to the Annual Town Meeting on behalf of the Church which is managed by a Parish Parochial Council of 16 members and two church wardens. She recounted the difficulties experienced in managing without a vicar, following the retirement of Rev. Kathy Lawrie over a year ago. The Benefice is a large one, covering Paull, Preston and Sproatley as well as Hedon, and this provides a challenge for any vicar. A process is under way to recruit a new vicar, but Dorothy reports that there is a national shortage of clergy which has to be contended.
The restoration of the Church continues to be the focus of much fundraising said Dorothy:
“The Church has a strong fund-raising team which aims to maintain the ‘FUN’ in fundraising. Due to their efforts, and the support of local people and some grant aid, the Church is in a better state than previously reported. We are awaiting to hear some exciting news shortly about the new access ladder to the top of the tower!
“We would like to thank Hedon Town Council for largely funding our new Church Brochure and Guide. It’s a marvellous document. It’s free but we do welcome donations for a copy!”
It’s a sign of the times, that the Church has to be kept locked for security, but it is open several times a week.
“Fundamentally, it’s a place of worship, and despite the difficulties of not having a vicar, we seek to offer continued fellowship to all. We are pleased to announce that we have not experienced any fall in attendances in recent times and we actively encourage people to consider their faith, and aim to increase attendance. With God’s help we will continue to be a focal point for the local community offering comfort and a place of worship.”
Dorothy delivered a comprehensive report-back to the community at the meeting, the above is just a summary of that feedback.