From Jeanne Wesson
Sir, - Now that the cold spell has hit us, and while Parliament
still debates the cost of energy, how warm are our churches - in
Has the time come for congregations to consider opening their
premises for at least one extra day each week, and heating them, so
that those facing hardship from heating bills can find sanctuary
from feeding expensive meters at home?
Some churches already stay open in our city centres, but it is
in the suburbs and rural areas where the need is greatest. In these
areas, there are many without free bus travel to warmer centres:
the lone parents, the unemployed, the less able elderly, and
others. Men and women face being cold, spending less on food, or
turning to moneylenders this winter.
Some churches are already involved with food banks and credit
unions. Is this the next step: a "Warm Church" campaign?
To be able to save on heating bills for one day each week all
winter will mount up to a realistic figure - a financial sacrifice
that a congregation might willingly make, as it pays its own
heating bill, rather than "pass by on the other side" - the cold
side? - of the road.
11 Gordon Drive
Abingdon OX14 3SW
From Mr Ron Jeffries
Sir, - The idea of keeping warm in church with portable hot
cushions appeals to me (News and Features, 8 November).
Heating our 151-year-old church is costly and largely unsuccessful.
But, for much of service time, we stand or kneel; so how would folk
react to the suggestion that we sit for the entire service - with
the exception of the Gospel and the Creed, of course, for there are
37 Spearpoint Gardens, Aldborough Road North, Aldborough Hatch,
Ilford, Essex IG2 7SX