Draycott Parish to disappear?

A recent article in the St Margaret’s Church Magazine came like a bolt out of the blue.  It expressed, in no uncertain terms, that The Ecclesiastical Parish Of Draycott In The Moors could soon disappear…
(The ecclesiastical parish of Draycott should not be confused with Draycott civil parish which is a tier of local government, even though their boundaries are very similar).

Draycott Church in the snow

St Margaret’s. A photo taken during the recent snow falls

By law, to be sustained, a church parish must have a ‘parochial parish council’, and the members of that council must meet five times a year – preferably in a quorate state.   The Reverend David Bickersteth, the rector of the parish, who wrote the article, was simply stating the obvious when he wondered aloud if the congregation at Draycott can manage to make this happen.
Right now, it would seem that achieving this goal is getting harder and harder.

United benefice

It is not long since Draycott Church was joined into the ‘united benefice’ with St Peter’s at Forsbrook – so David is rector for both churches. (About the same time, the newly-built rectory behind St Margaret’s had to be sold off, as it then became surplus to requirements).

Although it was a blow, that move did not affect the independence of the Draycott PCC.  However, if the Draycott PPC cannot be sustained, total merger with Forsbrook would be inevitable.

Recently, two members of St Margaret’s PCC have resigned, so the quorum is getting more and more difficult to achieve. It’s also true that St Margaret’s church-goers are getting older.
Also, though the duties of a PCC member are not heavy, they are serious. A PCC is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the care and maintenance of the church fabric and its contents; and the members of all PCCs are officially classed as trustees.
The upside is that the only qualification for applying to be on the PCC is that one must be a church-goer (even if you only attend church less frequently).

At the end of his article, David wrote:
“I’m sure St Margaret’s members would prefer to see the parish remain independent. If there are folk who would like to join the PCC at the next AGM (before the end of April) let me know; we need plenty of active support!”

_ . _
Related Links:
Parochial Parish Councils – Wikipedia definition
St Margaret’s & St Peter’s Magazine

2 responses to “Draycott Parish to disappear?

  1. Thanks for the article.
    Draycott Parochial Church Council has also been hit with a sharp rise in its Parish Share (the amount it must pay to the diocese for ministry etc). This year the Share is £13,760: an amount that must be paid before any domestic bills – insurance, utilities, admin etc never mind the maintenance of a historic medieval building with unique memorials to the Draycott family dating back centuries.

    We hopefully have two people interested in joining the PCC but fresh interest is always welcome. The ministry team includes the Revd John Pretty, who has special responsibility for St Margaret’s in pastoral terms and leading of worship. He can be contacted on 01538 723561.

    Perhaps we could consider a ‘Friends of St Margaret’s’ group to help maintain this ancient parish church.

    St Margaret’s regularly holds social events, open days etc and is always a warm and welcoming if small congregation.
    The summer fair in July is a major fund raising effort for St Margaret’s and is in my view, the best fair of its type I have ever encountered. Support would be welcome – please contact Selwyn Edwards on 01782 394807.

    David Craufurd Bickersteth


  2. A welcoming church?

    There needs to be better links with the community rather than just with the people who regularly go to the church.

    We went to a fabulous hog roast at the other local church, St Mary’s RC Church in Cresswell, and felt very welcome even though we are not practising Catholics.


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