Marton Methodist Church - Newspaper Article

Publication: Blackpool Gazette

Date: Monday, 14th December 2020

Title: Blackpool church needs a Christmas miracle or it will face closure in January

The congregation of a Blackpool church is calling on people to help the place of worship from closing down, after its funds were wiped out by the pandemic.

It’s feared that Marton Methodist Church, in Midgeland Road, Marton, may shut permanently next month if funds of around £10,000 are not found.

Lavinia Buckley, the church’s booking secretary, said she is worried for the venue’s future. She said: ‘We have had excellent community support over the years, with us doing fund-raising events for Macmillan Cancer Support’s Coffee Morning, Dementia UK, Donna’s Dream House, and many more, but due to the coronavirus pandemic we had to close in March.’

Woman in jeans, a blue cardigan and silk scarf standing in a church car park looking at the notice board

‘This meant all of the hall lettings had to be cancelled and we have been unable to continue due to the numerous restrictions throughout the year. We had so many activities planned for this year and Covid-19 came and took it all away from us.’

As well as the functions the church hosts, the hall was also used by a number of children’s groups such as the Rainbows, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, and Cubs. A number of exercise and dog training classes were also held there. Lavinia said the church and its hall are more than just a building but also part of the community.

Woman in jeans, a blue cardigan and silk scarf standing in an empty church hall

She said: ‘Our coffee mornings and Cameo club brought in around 40 to 50 people each week. It’s not just the sadness of the church having to close but this building is a lifeline for many people in the Marton area.’

Lavinia fears that the church will have to close permanently as early as January if money cannot be raised. ‘Currently, we are looking at the closure of the church next month due to the lack of finances,’ she said. ‘We have not been able to get support from the local council and I have even been selling items on [the internet auction site] eBay to raise some funds to try and keep it open. I have raised more than £300 but it’s just not enough.’

Yellow noticeboard displaying posters and decorative items

‘As well as the general day-to-day running, we also need to make some roof repairs to the church because of woodworm getting in. It would be a big loss to Marton if this church was to close and so many children and adults’ lives would be affected by it.’

Lavinia said she is accepting household items such as bric-a-brac, DVDs, CDs and books which she can sell online in order to raise money. Lavinia has set up a donation page for the church and it’s hoped enough cash can be raised to keep it open.

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