Church could close due to lack of funds

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A CHURCH rich with history is in danger of closing because of a lack of funds.

All Saints’ Church has been on its site in Bradfield Combust since Norman times.

On the wall of its nave are two 14th-15th century paintings, thought to represent St George and the Dragon and St Christopher, while in the church grounds is the Arthur Young tomb, which has been declared a national monument.

But the historic church is in danger of closing due to a lack of funds and support.

David Waspe, a member of the Parochial Church Council (PCC), said: “It would be a shame to see it go because it’s a fantastic little church.”

His parents are buried in the churchyard and he has fond memories of pumping the organ handle for the church organist as a boy.

Paul Williamson, also a member of the PCC, said one option being considered to save money was reducing the status of the church to a chapel of ease.

This could affect the parish share in Hawstead, Lawshall, Great Whelnetham, Nowton and Stanningfield, which are also part of the St Edmund Way Benefice.

“Bradfield Combust is a peculiar place because it’s separated by the A134, so there’s no real community here,” said resident Tony Langan.

“You could say there’s too many churches and not enough people,” said Brian Myers.

Parishioners are being urged to attend an open meeting in the church on April 23, starting at 7.30pm.

It will be chaired by the Archdeacon of Sudbury, the Venerable Dr David Jenkins, and will discuss the building’s future.

“We just hope that people turn up because this will be the last chance to keep it as it is, or keep it at all, because there’s not the money,” said Mr Williamson.

Villager Shenti Rajan said: “I would feel upset if it closed because what would we have in its place?

“It’s nice to know it’s there if you want to go and pray in private and it’s a focal point to bring the community together.”

“We have struggled to get funds for some time now but it is beautiful, it would be a tragedy if it closed,” said long-term resident Jane Gwatkin.