Historic Acton Church appeals for help to address financial deficit caused by Covid
St Martin's Church, West Acton
An historic Acton church is appealing to the community to get involved in its bid to get financially back on track.
Like many other businesses, people and organisations, St Martin's in Hale Gardens has been hit by the pandemic.
Sadly, they had to close their doors and stop the usual services and celebrations, but staff and clergy did carry on caring for those in need; collecting for the foodbank and distributing to those in need. The Church supports families having difficult times both practically and emotionally and many of the congregation help homeless charities in the local area. Throughout 2020 services became more hi-tech with the Sunday mass being moved online with live streaming and prayers and coffee mornings held via the Zoom app.
St Martin's prides itself on being an integral part of the community, ''welcoming and warm, open liberal and inclusive'' and hosts the Japanese Anglican Church (U.K.) with services held in Japanese. Twyford Church of England High School, uses St Martin’s for school services, and the clergy provide a chaplaincy service to the Acton Care Centre.
Interior of St Martin's
It was built to serve the new and growing population developing in West London as a result of the extension of the Piccadilly Line during the latter part of the 19th century and consecrated on St Martin's Day, 11th November 1906 by Bishop Arthur Foley Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London from 1902 to 1938.
During the 1930s vestries were added to the building and during the 1960s a hall and church flat (St Martin’s Cottage) were built. Amongst distinguished members of the clergy was Rev’d ‘Harry’ Clement Williams who was vicar from 1920 to 1938. He died in 1986 aged 106, being then the oldest living Anglican priest in the world.
Recently, Archbishops Justin Welby and Stephen Cottrell addressed the Church of England’s General Synod and spoke about it being a time of trauma, loss and struggle for all and that many challenges and crises would have to be faced.
Archbishop Welby spoke of the changing face of the Church:
“We do not know what kind of Church of England will emerge from this time except that it will be different,” he said. “It will be changed by the reality that for the first time all churches have closed - first time in 800 years. It will be changed because for the first time we have worshipped virtually.”
With attendances throughout the country being hit, finances have been massively affected and St Martin's is suffering a shortfall of at least £30,000. Recently the historic building has needed essential electrical work and roof repairs, and payments are having to be made to the ‘Common Fund’ of the Church of England, which pays for the vicar and curate.
The clergy and members of the congregation have continued to be busy throughout lockdown, helping those self-isolating by collecting groceries and prescriptions, and are available if needs be once again. Call the Parish Office if you need assistance or know anybody who might.
A special auction will be taking place next month and a variety of prizes are on offer to the highest bidders.
Rev Julia Palmer, Vicar of St Martin’s said: “We are doing this auction online this year instead of having our normal Christmas Fare because of the Coronavirus Pandemic. Our hope is that this event this will be fun as well as a good fund raiser helping us to get ‘Back on Track’. So do join us and buy something at our auction or you could just make a donation. (Bank details are: sort code: 40 11 58, account number 60482676)
Local Estate Agent, Donald Collins from Go View London, will be auctioneer and he says, "I've never had the opportunity to be an auctioneer before so it is exciting to be asked in this capacity and I am absolutely delighted to help the local church.
''Clearly 2020 has been the most trying of years and churches, other religious institutions and community groups play a very important part in society to prevent loneliness and isolation.
"If we can help through donations, participation and printing the posters, I am proud that Go View London can offer something in a small way to the overall effort by everyone at St Martin's.'"
Christmas plans have also had to be altered, currently the proposals are for:
If you can donate to the auction, or want to put an advanced bid in contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The Church is also hoping to raise some additional funds by selling home made candles in a teacup and these can be bought from the parish office for
Call the office for details on 020 8992 2333 or email email@example.com
November 5th 2020