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The Parish of Collingham with Harewood

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            From the Vicarage



It is an odd word but it simply means something that happens once every five years. And in church terms it means that every five years the church architect has a look at our building and tells us what we need to do to keep it in good repair. 

The last time he inspected St Oswald’s he gave us quite a list, it wasn’t falling down but the gutters are rotten and probably need replacing, there are various areas needing repointing and repair, the stone work around the window by the tower has weathered badly, there are roof repairs needed, the ground level needs reducing along the north wall to prevent rising damp etc etc. Anybody who lives in an older house will recognise how there is always work to be done and if it is neglected it leads to even more things needing doing.

When all these things are added up we are looking at a bill of around £30,000.

I think a lot of people believe that because the Church of England is the established church in the country it is paid for by the government – either that or there are some enormous amounts of money stashed away somewhere. Well neither of those things are true. There are grants available to help repair historic buildings – but when we applied last time we didn’t get one. They tend to be awarded to areas of deprivation. And the Church Commisioners’ money is being used to pay the pensions of those who have served the church in years gone by.

Each church in the Church of England is there to serve the geographical area in which it is placed. So if you live in Collingham you have a right to have your child baptised here, to marry here and in due course to be buried here. Not because you ‘belong’ to the church but simply because it is the village church. But the cost of keeping the building in good repair for those who will follow after falls on those who live here too. The amount which St Oswald’s receives from those who give on a regular basis does not even cover our annual overheads and we need to look to the village as a whole to help with these repair costs.

So if you value having St Oswald’s there as your village church please think how you might help – either by giving directly or by supporting the fundraising events we will be organising in the months to come.

Every blessing


Volunteers will be collecting from house to house during Christian Aid Week. Please support this as generously as you are able. We cover as many roads as we can but if no-one calls you can drop a donation off at the Vicarage or give on-line at 

There will also be a Bun sale after the All Age service on Sunday 14th May.