St. Agatha’s Church has stood in the village of Brightwell for 834 years, although people have probably been worshipping on the site for hundreds of years before that.
So it was encouraging to learn from the Vital Villages Survey in 2003 that a significant majority of you appreciated the churches in Brightwell-cum-Sotwell – not only as historic monuments, but also as places for special occasions and for spiritual refreshment and prayer. The view was also expressed that ways should be found to foster closer links between church and community.
We are glad of your vote of confidence, and we are seeking ways for the church to move forward with the community.
But whilst church buildings, like St. Agatha’s (and St. James) can be a blessing to many, they can also be a burden to the few. They are costly to maintain. The congregation willingly and generously fund the day to day running costs of the church. These include £20,000 to central church funds responsible for providing ministers throughout Church of England parishes and a further £17,000 for church ministry and mission, routine maintenance, and support for other charitable organisations.
The Church of God is not essentially a building but an assembly of people called to worship and serve God. There were no church buildings for the first period of the Church’s history. However, the Anglican Church now has a vast number of historic buildings of which it is the (sometimes reluctant!) custodian. These are often situated in the middle of small villages and much smaller worshipping communities.
Now St. Agatha’s needs some costly, essential work just to keep out the rain and further work to provide toilets which will make it more user friendly, versatile and allow it to be used for a wider range of events.
If you value either the ministry and witness of the Anglican Church in the community or the presence of an ancient building in the beautiful village of Brightwell or both, please support us as we seek to maintain a viable and sustainable Christian presence in the community and an ancient building that has stood at the heart of that community for centuries.