The church tower was repaired last year with the help of Heritage Lottery funding, much support from the local community and a great deal of hard work on the part of the Parochial Church Council. The PCC is now looking ahead and is considering ways of meeting the terms of the Heritage Lottery Grant for looking after the exterior of the building over the next ten years, under the supervision of English Heritage.
Internal improvements are also now needed to make the building more usable, such as better lighting and heating, and a toilet. Another aim is to create archive space for retaining records of village history for future generations. There is also the need for help with regular cleaning and other simple maintenance tasks.
The church has a small regular congregation, and raising money to pay for maintenance, heat, light and insurance for this large building is a big effort. There is no financial support at all from the Church of England, and the congregation has to raise money itself to pay for church expenses, clergy wages and pensions. This itself is a significant sum which has not been managed in full now for some years.
Changes in the management of the four parishes, which cover seven churches along the Street, are planned this coming year. All four Parochial Church Councils aim to join as a single unit for easier management. The Archbishops’ Council has already approved in principle an application to do this, subject to local agreement next month. This should help to attract a new priest. The post is still being advertised due to the retirement of Beryl Bowes, and to date there have been no applicants. The Bishop has warned the PCCs that priests wanting country parishes are in very short supply, so there may be a long wait. In the meantime, The Street Parishes are extremely grateful to have the Revd. John Warden looking after them on a temporary basis.
The new system will leave the small individual village groups to look after their buildings and to organise local fund raising. The same amount of money will still have to be raised by the same small group of people. The PCC is seeking support from the village to give more regular help to look after this historic landmark, which contributes so much to the local character and history of the village. A leaflet will shortly be sent to every household in Slingsby, South Holme, and Fryton giving more information and outlining the various ways in which practical or financial help may be given.
Please become a Friend of All Saints Church. All help given in this way will be used exclusively to maintain and develop the building separately from other church activities.