Anglicans fear for church future
THE call has gone out to help save a local church dating back almost 150 years.
The All Saints Church in Lawrence is one of five Anglican churches in the Maclean parish.
All Saints warden Terry Bird said the Grafton diocese had ordered a review of Maclean Parish and wanted one, possibly two, local churches to close.
"As in many other country dioceses, the Grafton diocese has requested the Maclean Parish review the number of centres and reduce the number by at least one," Mr Bird said.
"As members of our beautiful riverside community are aware, we have a solid foundational history in the Lower Clarence."
Mr Bird and other members of the congregation have arranged a public meeting to be held this Saturday and are calling for public support. They will present a petition at the meeting, which at the moment has the signatures of more than 100 people.
"We'll be going down to the election polling booths on Saturday to get as many signatures as possible," said Mr Bird.
He said there had been "talk" the diocese was looking to close some churches for more than a year.
"It seems to have come to a head with calls for these meetings," he said.
Mr Bird said All Saints had helped the diocese cope with financial problems arising from building the Clarence Valley Anglican School senior campus.
"We donated a block of land we had at the school to the Bishop's Appeal," he said.
Grafton Diocese Archdeacon Greg Ezzy will be at Saturday's meeting to discuss the issue with parishioners.
"Faithful parishioners have enjoyed many years of worship, service, and fellowship together," Mr Bird said. "The community has gathered to share weddings, baptisms, and funerals through the decades.
"We in Lawrence need your support to keep our church open; not for just our generation, but to consider our growing community and those of future generations."
Mr Bird said the original All Saints Church in Lawrence was built in 1868, while the existing heritage-listed building was constructed in 1903.
The public meeting will be held at All Saints Anglican Church, High St, Lawrence, this Saturday at 2pm.