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Croydon Minster in need of £30k to keep its doors open

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URGENT efforts to raise £30,000 to keep Croydon Minster open all week round are under way.

A lack of cash means the Minster - where a church has stood since the year 960 - could be forced to close its doors during the day.

Vicar of Croydon, Canon Colin Boswell, said this would be a serious blow to its mission work, including support for the homeless and those with drug and alcohol problems, who use the church in the daytime.

Canon Boswell said: "We ended up with a deficit of £23,000 on the general account for the day to day running of the Minster. It is expensive; we have to pay £100,000 to the diocese to pay for the clergy before we even open the doors."

He said the Minster authorities also face large bills for heating and lighting the church during the day, particularly in the winter. He was, however, anxious the refuge the building gave to vulnerable people and the support offered to them by staff was not lost.

The church is also used for activities for young people and as a meeting place for the elderly.

Canon Boswell said: "We are determined to raise the money, not just because we want to pay our way but because if we are to continue with the mission work, we have to have the church up and running."

Canon Boswell said he was confident they would not have to go down the closure route.

Members of the congregation will be asked to increase the amount they donate to the church each week but a series of fund raising events will be held between now and December when the church's financial year ends.

The first of these take place on June 21 when the Minster will be open for guided tours of the west tower as part of the Croydon Heritage Festival. There will also be music, a book stall and cakes and preserves for sale.

On July 26, the Schola Cantorum will lead a 16-hour sponsored Psalmathon when all 150 Psalms will be sung to traditional Anglican chant.

And on the same evening, Canon Boswell and fellow clergy will be sleeping rough in the Minster grounds to raise awareness of the work it does for disadvantaged people.

Further details of the programme of events can be found at www.croydonminster.org or, to donate money to the Minster, visit www.justgiving.com/croydonparishchurch/donate/

Croydon Minster in need of £30k to keep its doors open


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