IF EVER there was an argument for checking Crockford's
Clerical Directory, it is the case of the two Holy Trinity
churches in the benefice of Sittingbourne, Kent.
When the PCC at Holy Trinity, Milton Regis, learned that it had
been left £67,000 in a will in September last year, it set about
spending £6000 on repairing the roof, and invested the rest in an
investment bond. In July this year, however, another, less pleasant
surprise arrived by post. The law firm dealing with the
benefactor's will, John Morley Solicitors, had made an error. The
money was in fact intended for Holy Trinity, Sittingbourne, just
1.4 miles down the road. The money would have to be paid back.
"All very Christian, but it still puts us heavily out of
pocket," a member of the PCC, Keith Nevols, told the Daily
Mail. "Not only do we stand to lose £6000, but the donation
may have affected people giving us donations over the last few
A spokeswoman for the diocese of Canterbury - who described
claims that the mix-up might have "bankrupted" Holy Trinity, Milton
Regis, as "incorrect" - said that both the diocese and John Morley
Solicitors "recognise that the unfortunate circumstances in this
matter have arisen through no one's deliberate fault.
"The Archdeacon of Maidstone, John Morley Solicitors, and both
parishes are working together to ensure a resolution of the problem
that will give proper consideration to the best interests of both
parishes, and to effect an agreement by mutual consent. We are not
expecting any further legal costs to be incurred."