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Crich village cross




At last, we have had some positive and constructive engagement from the Congregational Federation who own the building.

I was asked to arrange a meeting by a Church Support Worker from head office, and she also invited the new chairperson of the East Midlands region, Rev. Stella Wallace-Tween, who runs three Congregational churches in the Tamworth area. Unfortunately, only Rev. Wallace Tween could attend, due to illness of others, but she turned out to be a very pragmatic and enthusiastic lady. Three of us from ‘Save Fritchley Village Hall Group’, including Ian Chinn representing the renewed congregation and John Midgley from the Fritchley Community Association, met with her on a wet and windy Friday morning in mid-October.

We explained to Stella the history of the building and its importance to the village community, and also the ideas and plans there were for uses of the building and a revived congregation working as an inclusive partnership. She was very receptive and supportive to our cause, but indicated that success in the Federation’s eyes would depend on the reestablishment of a functioning church. However, she also accepted that the success of church and hall would be mutually dependant, with revenues from the hall helping to cover the running costs of the whole building. In fact, one of her own churches runs on that basis, with the hall being rented by a dancing school which enabled the church to re-open.

Thank you to everyone who contacted me and put their names on the list for the new congregation, which I passed on to Ian. That greatly helped our case and, if we are to move ahead, Ian will need to establish a list of church members.

Stella will now report back to the Federation, and they will consider the future at their next council meeting in late November. She said she would put in a supportive recommendation and also give us her vote at the Council meeting.

I don’t think we could have hoped for a more positive outcome from our meeting. By the end of November we should know where we stand – so keep your fingers crossed!

Please contact Ian or myself with any ideas, opportunities or offers of help!


Steve Wood