Two very good articles by Peter Morgan on Sunday and by John Vickers on the 15th Nov.
I'm really pleased that I wrote about "The Bells" problem as I think that Peter and John (and others) have helped more people (judging by conversations in the street) better understand that there are serious problems about maintaining these iconic and valuable buildings.
I believe that it's possibly worse than Peter stated in his article.
I was recently told by an C of E ex-treasurer that its the Church Commissioners who manage the C of E's investment portfolio and that the majority of the returns are actually needed to support bishops' ministry, some cathedral costs as well as support for the clergy and some pensions. Whilst some of this is given as grants to local parishes to fund projects, the vast majority of the financial burden of church upkeep and the work of local parishes rests with individual parishes and dioceses.
For years the Church Commissioners were a sort of magic money tree, but finally had to admit defeat and depend on local communities. Interestingly all other denominations have always had to finance themselves from the resources of their congregations.
So, hopefully this improved knowledge will increase the visibility of the problem and encourage more people to donate so as to continue to preserve the visible and audible beauty of Audlem. Its certainly helped me understand the true nature of the problem.
Steve Elliott (with help from Charles Cavill)