IT IS nearly 20 years since St Peter’s, Offord D’Arcy, in Ely
diocese, was made redundant.
The church was at the end of a long lane, the roof was in such a poor way
that people took umbrellas to services, the heating was non-existent, and the
congregation was defecting to the church in Offord Cluny.
Then the Redundant Churches Fund (now the Churches Conservation Trust) took
it over, made the structure sound (but removed the electricity supply), and
agreed it should still be used for limited and occasional services.
But it regained more life than that. Summer services, when heating was not
important, were soon held monthly. Permission was given for a series of
productions, including The Pied Piper of Hamelin and The Wind in the Willows.
The Christmas carol service became a regular event, necessarily lit by
candles. Then, last year, a group organised a three-day arts festival, which
will be repeated in April. “St Peter’s is well worth a visit,” says Delia
Murren, one of the lay people keeping it alive, “and the key is held at the
former rectory next door.”