Doors of St Andrew’s Church in Redruth to be opened wide after two decades
The news comes two decades after the original decision to lock up the church when it was not being used for worship, following several serious incidents of vandalism and theft.
The church was open on Tuesdays and Thursdays during August this year, but with a steward present. At the recent parish bishop’s conference, the PCC pledged to find ways of unlocking the church so it could be available to the public every day.
Service to local people
It is now planned to increase the opening times gradually over the coming months, although the precise opening hours have yet to be decided.
Rector of Redruth, Revd Caspar Bush, explained: “Unlocking the church more often is not necessarily an evangelistic enterprise, but rather a service to the local people, offering a place of quiet, and a chance to make spiritual connections.
Those who had to deal with the repercussions of the vandalism all those years ago are keen to pursue the plan.
“The location of the church, near the high street and the train station and with houses all around it, means that lots of people walk past it every day. The church building is unlike anything else in the centre of town – it’s a peaceful, beautiful space which we hope many people can enjoy at their own pace.”
In May, during Thy Kingdom Come prayer week, the church was open with various prayer stations. This gave visitors a focus to their prayer and some spiritual guidance. Similar prayer-prompts will now feature permanently in St Andrew’s, and it is hoped they will provide a way of helping visitors to engage without the need for the permanent presence of a steward.
Those who had to deal with the repercussions of the vandalism all those years ago see the potentially huge benefits of unlocking it again, and are keen to pursue the plan.
Part of the overall plan is to install CCTV to offer some protection and act as a deterrent to vandalism in the future.
- The Diocese of Truro has recently produced a booklet called A Way to Welcome, which helps parishes to consider ways to make their churches welcoming to visitors. It includes ideas and examples from different churches in Cornwal. Contact Liz Wallace on 01872 360039 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to receive a copy of the guide.