Village rallies to save its church Featured

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Published in Malmesbury Newspapers
Sunday, 01 July 2018 03:14
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ALDERTON, near Hullavington, is a small village with only a church, a village hall, a duck pond, a post box and a few houses.

But St Giles’ Church, a focal point in the village, is at risk of closure if more funding isn’t found.

The 70 residents of the village are struggling to fund the church themselves but hope the wider community will be able to keep the Grade II listed 12th-century church fully operational.

The church receives no external funding, and the necessary funds to keep the doors open come from donations from the residents. To do this, they must find at least £1,500 a year.

Emma Noy, 37, has lived in Alderton almost all her life. She said: “It is obviously part of the village heritage. I have been brought up in the village, and it has been a massive part of the village life for so long.

“I got christened there, I got married there, my nine-month old-daughter Harriet will be getting christened there. It will be devastating if it is to go.

“It is such a beautiful little church, it would be devastating to see it close.

“The reason I feel passionate about it is I have been in the village for such a long time and it is part of the heritage, and it should be kept open, not just for us, but for the future generations.

“We are a village of 70 residents which makes it tricky for us to raise the funds ourselves, so we need to branch out of our community and appeal to people’s better nature to keep a bit of British heritage alive, to organise events that people can enjoy and in return donate.

“That is the problem, we are such a small community it is a challenge for us to raise funds. If the church yard closed it would be locked, the church yard would be left to wilderness and because it is a listed building an appropriate alternative use would have to be sought, but very unlikely to be found in Alderton. The church would inevitably slowly decay.”

Villagers are rallying together in order to save their church and have organised a series of fundraising events including pop-up cafés and are planning an entertainment day with a hog roast and live music in September.

The next pop-up café is being held in Alderton Village Hall on Sunday, July 8, from 2pm-5pm with cakes and entertainment for children.

Anyone wishing to help St Giles church financially is invited to email stgilesalderton@outlook.com

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