Tuesday, June 19, 2012
I attended the ‘informal’ meeting about St Michael’s church having been told about it by a friend but having seen no advertising about it.
The general groundswell of opinion from the floor was that closure of St Michael’s would be a great loss to the people of Honiton and to the country who would lose this beautiful building.
Apparently, the five yearly survey due in 2010 was not carried out suggesting prior intention of church closure before informing the public in 2012.
The church building was shut up for the winter in November 2011 being deemed “too cold” and now the use has been cut back to the barest minimum.
It appears that £600 is the sum needed to assess the integrity of the building which in 2005 (the last survey) had nothing requiring urgent attention. This sum could have been collected at the meeting but could not be used for this purpose without the agreement of the PCC. It would then be possible to see if the church would be too expensive to maintain as was suggested by the church representatives.
Despite suggestions from the church representatives that the church was in need of serious work, the 2005 survey showed nothing in ‘category 1’ which required urgent attention to the fabric and only limited items in the non urgent categories.
Honiton is a growing town and there are many Christians who currently worship elsewhere (but live locally) who could swell the numbers at the Honiton churches if there were suitable services for them and this alternative venue offers this opportunity.
Mrs Nan Underhill