All shall be celebrities

08 January 2008

by Margaret Duggan

THEY DECIDED against getting a “celebrity” to open their new Church Room, which adjoins St Mary’s. The Room was, after all, for the whole community of Longworth, a small village in Oxford diocese.

The population is only 750, but it is part of the benefice of Cherbury with Gainfield. So the PCC of St Mary’s decided that, after the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols, everyone should take part in cutting the ribbon to open it.

Ten ribbons were stretched across the door to the Church Room, says the Rector, the Revd Sally Welch, and representatives from sections of Longworth’s village community, including the school, history society, and a local charity, cut a ribbon each.

But it did not stop there, says Mrs Welch. “A huge ribbon was then unrolled the length of the church, and everyone in the church was invited to take a pair of scissors and join in the cutting ceremony. The room was blessed, a prayer was said, more than 70 people wielded their scissors, and the room was declared open” (pictured).

It is a lovely room, Mrs Welch tells me, “well heated, with a kitchen and loo; so it can be used by young and old”. They paid for it by selling off the old Sunday school, with some bequests and fund-raising, and the whole project was managed by the now retired churchwarden, Ken Houlton. “He did a wonderful job,” says Mrs Welch.

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