THE future of one of Cheshire’s ‘secret’ churches is hanging in the balance.
Calveley Church, a mid-17th century building, which may have been a threshing barn, became a private chapel for Calveley Hall in the mid-19th century.
After the hall was demolished the chapel, hidden behind trees down winding country lanes, became the parish church.
During the First World War the church was used as a ward for injured troops.
It is now part of Bunbury parish and is the responsibility of the Bunbury parochial church council, (PCC), the vicar and wardens.
Congregations in Bunbury and Calveley have been told that for many years it has been ‘self-managing and self-financing’ and has provided a ‘valuable addition’ to the range of services available in the parish.
Effectively it is managed by just three people who feel for various reasons they must relinquish their roles.
One has already done so and the remaining two will do so from the end of next May.
“Calveley therefore needs a new team in place by June 2011 to operate the church on a day to day basis and to co-ordinate local fundraising,” says the church.
It is appealing for volunteers to take on the roles of secretary, treasurer and verger.
Anyone interested has been invited to discuss the matter with the vicar, the Rev Rick Gates or the church wardens and to offer their services by the end of this month (November).
The Calveley committee of the PCC will meet early in December to consider the outcome of the appeal for volunteers.
“It is hoped that Calveley will continue as now but if a new team cannot be identified, the Bunbury PCC will need to consider the options,” says the church.