Parishioners protest to keep Church open, which was closed to pay for child abuse court fees

CAMPAIGN: Parishioners from St Aidan's Church at Black Springs gathered on Sunday for prayer and a placard protest in their fight to keep the church open.

Oberon Review

“Placards and prayers were present at the gates to the Little Tin Church at Black Springs on Sunday.

Joined by sympathetic townsfolk and even an enthusiastic car of passing travellers, the parishioners of St Aidan’s church, which Bishop Ian Palmer has closed in order to raise money for diocesan debts, continued their campaign to have the decision reconsidered. 

Members of the former congregation held a prayer meeting and stopped traffic with their display of placards.

They say the bishop’s move, which will raise only a few thousand for his fund to pay compensation to abuse victims, ignores more valuable properties in the town. 

They say even renown Anglican Dean Andrew Sempell of St James Church, Sydney, who with wife Rosemary also farms locally, says it doesn’t add up.

Minister Sempell has conducted and attended services at St Aidan’s since it reopened for worship in 2012.

In a letter to the Oberon Review in early December last year, Bishop Palmer said the only way the diocese could continue to meet the costs of helping child abuse survivors in their recovery was by selling properties. 

“Recently 10 properties across the diocese were identified for sale and included among these is St Aidan’s Church, Black Springs,” he said in the letter.

“We appreciate the loss this will be to a few people in the community but St Barnabas in Oberon is continuing its ministry and worshippers are welcome there.””

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