Changes feel like a ‘take over’

In response to the letter written under the heading ‘sacred nature of church destroyed’ a most exact label to what is happening in Holy Trinity Church, Hastings, in the heart of our town.

English Heritage, England has now confirmed that it is a Grade-II* Listed building and it seems, although there are rigorous regulations, plans appear to have been passed by the diocese advisory council!

Done deal it seems? But they omitted to tell the existing traditional congregation!

A new migration from two churches, one in London and the other in Brighton, has resulted in what is now called ‘replanting’ into our community to regenerate the church.

I am all for increase of spiritual energy but it very much feels like the traditional mature smaller congregation is very much being compromised and marginalised.

It is unbelievable that no prior notice, was given to this, our congregation, apart from a sermon 24 hours before the start of the removal of 500-year-old pews and thus erecting staging for drums etc. So ... Exit left.

A portable temporary altar and an end to the unique service only performed in a few churches now!

With no advance warning, there was no opportunity for questions or compromise.

Which was the case a year ago when we accommodated the new service by moving the existing one an hour earlier!

Although it was inevitable and no real choice but there was some sadness when some parishioners chose to leave for other churches with ‘bus friendly services’.

The new time was too early for buses to run! The writing was, maybe, on the wall even then? At the welcome party ,in my opinion, mayhem struck, even party poppers were found in fonts of holy water.

This ‘sharing space’ is what was suggested and accepted as graciously as necessary –but it does feels like ‘a take over’ in order to accommodate modern chairs that, eventually, will face the rear to the church and not the high altar.

Then the ‘fun activities’ of table tennis and various contemporary activities will accommodate the forward plan.

Facing backwards, is this the way forward?

Jean Oakes

Barley Lane


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