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Questionnaires being posted to residents on future of St Denys’, Severn Stoke
PRAYING for our daily bread has been part of Christian services for centuries – but at one church building in Worcestershire people may, in the future, be able to buy their loaves there.
In a bid to breathe new life into St Denys’ Church, Severn Stoke, hit by last December’s floods when the river Severn burst its banks, an exciting new initiative is taking place.
The people of the village are being asked what they would like to see the building used for and among the ideas suggested are a farmers’ market or community shop, badminton, music and art events, as well as a meeting place for every age group from toddlers to the elderly.
The rector, the Rev Mark Badger, said: “Think back to the original use of this mediaeval building.
“It used to be the heart of the community for worship and festivals, as well as a place where people met, had meetings or held markets.
“It is the people's building and we want to know what they want to use it for. It is not just a place full of pews. “The opportunities are tremendous. But, if we don't use it, we could lose it. “We are looking for further new uses and want to hear from the local people.”
A questionnaire will be sent out to every household in the village on Saturday asking villagers what they would like to see at St Denys’ – a cafe, dancing, film club, or other social events.
The questionnaire should be completed by Saturday, October 19, when it will be collected or can be left at the Rose and Crown pub, or posted back in the envelope provided.
The Rev Badger said: “The harsh reality is that we are at a crossroads in the life of this beautiful and much loved building and we will need to make some difficult decisions and take some bold and decisive steps if we are to move forward into the future.
“I would like to see the building being used seven days a week, and to become a place with modern facilities, full of activity and life.
“The decisions we face are not just about addressing problems but about seizing opportunities, putting St Denys’ back at the heart of the community which it has served for over 700 years."”
The results of the survey will be presented at a public meeting at the Rose and Crown in November.
The church is a Grade two-listed building and a weak tower had previously prevented the bells from being rung, however after work during the summer of 2012 they are considered ringable but fragile.
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