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Recent Additions

Kirkdale (Yorkshire) - revised

Wootton Wawen (Warwickshire)

Beckford (Worcestershire)

Wareham (Dorset)

Melbury Bubb (Dorset)

Morcott (Rutland) - revised

Bere Regis (Dorset)

Winterborne Tomson (Dorset)

Swaffham Prior (Cambridgeshire)

Little Snoring (Norfolk)

Billesley (Warwickshire)

Old Shoreham (Sussex)

Roll of Dishonour

The purpose of this page is to name and hopefully shame those churches whose ďauthoritiesĒ cannot be bothered to give even controlled access to their churches. I am not talking here of churches that are closed because we arrived late (after 5.00 pm). Nor am I talking of churches that keep their doors locked but invite the visitor to obtain the key elsewhere, even if the keyholder happens to be out when you call. I am not even talking of churches that lock their doors but inform you that regrettably they canít find a keyholder at this time. I am talking of those churches that are so arrogant and possessive of what they wrongly believe to be theirs that they feel able to slam their doors on the rest of us without explanation.

And, by the way, I feel especially strongly about this having listened to a clearly-distressed young Eastern European migrant a long long way from home pouring out his heart to his God for a good half hour at New Romsey Church in Kent in June 2011. He was lucky that his was a church that clearly felt some spiritual responsibility.

For my further, and I hope fair, comments on locked churches please click HERE.

So here we go, the Roll of Dishonour. If any of you know of any just cause why a church should be removed (especially if it has ďseen the lightĒ) please let me know. To avoid condemning any church that has put things right since our last visit, this list starts as of 1 August 2011.

 

Pitsford : Northamptonshire. Nice new door, nice new locks. Smart residential area. Visitors not welcome. They might have dirty feet. Norman font safely locked away from prying eyes.

Cottingham: Northamptonshire. To be fair, I guess visitors would be rare here.

Damersham : Kent. A pleasant rural area. Why?

Ewerby: Lincs .  Just a word on this one which possibly made me angrier than any other. Itís a big church in the Main Street of a large prosperous village. It has a wonderfully-carved exterior thatís worth going out of oneís way for - as I did. Itís 50 metres from a village shop, yet there are no keyholders. Just a disgrace. Thereís no excuse: they should be ashamed.

Little Billing: Northamptonshire.

Vicarís phone number (Great Billing) is on a service board outside. There is quite a lot of rough-looking housing in the vicinity so vandalism may be a fear. Surely a keyholder number would not be too much trouble? This church has an Anglo-Saxon font, by the way.

Spratton: Northamptonshire

Iíve tried here twice. Spratton might take the prize for the most unwelcoming church in the most unwelcoming county. Nothing subtle here: a darned great chain and padlock around the outer gates. Absolutely no information whatsoever is offered to visitor or potential worshipper. This church has a super Norman tower. Even if you donít feel this imposes any responsibility on any individual or organisation, you have to ask - where is the pride and self-respect in those responsible for this village and its church?