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Desperate measures

14 March 2014

IT IS a lovely old village church, but it has an ancient and inadequate heating system; so they have resorted to desperate measures at St Nicholas's, Castle Hedingham, in Chelmsford diocese. On three Sundays in the month, the regular congregation huddle in their coats. But, once a month, 25 to 30 people come to a contemporary service put on by the house group run by Maurice and Angie Jones.

The Priest-in-Charge, the Revd Lawrence Bond, tells me that it is the younger members who are less prepared to put up with the chilly conditions, and the PCC decided that hot-water bottles might help, and might encourage more to come. So they bought a dozen, and filled them with water heated in the tiny kitchenette in church, and now some of the congregation are bringing their own.

They hope it is only a temporary measure. There are plans afoot for a refurbishment of the church, to open it up for more community use, and that will include new heating, and better facilities. But, meanwhile, cuddling those hotties enables the congregation to concentrate on what is going on rather than think about their freezing toes.

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