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Legacy leaves church out of pocket

10 August 2012

SWNS

Unpleasantly surprised: Holy Trinity, Milton Regis, victim of a legacy mix-up

Unpleasantly surprised: Holy Trinity, Milton Regis, victim of a legacy mix-up

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 months."

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."

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