Say a little prayer for me

A 600-YEAR-OLD church in Somerset could close unless members find £40,000 to fund vital repairs to the ailing building. St Conger's Church in Badgworth

A 600-YEAR-OLD church in Somerset could close unless members find £40,000 to fund vital repairs to the ailing building.St Conger's Church in Badgworth is in desperate need of repairs to its roof and the interior needs decorating and Reverend Ken Brown fears it could close if members do not raise the cash. He is appealing for villagers to help the 50-strong congregation raise the money. But it is not just the building which would be lost if it closes. The church is the only one in the country to be named after St Conger, who gave his name to Congresbury in North Somerset.Rev Brown said: "We are trying to start up a Friends of Conger Church group. The idea is that the friends would provide support by fund-raising, planning and advertising events."There are a lot of people in the village who wouldn't want to see the church close but don't necessarily want to come along. This is one way they can be of assistance."I sincerely hope it won't close but with all this money to raise we can't rule it out, but it's not likely to close in the next few years."I'm hoping that if we manage to get a friends group up and running it will prove effective and assure the future of St Conger's."Rev Brown is the priest in charge of Crook Peak Parish, which is made up of St Conger's Church, St John the Baptist Church in Biddisham, St Mary's Church in Christon, St Andrew's Church in Compton Bishop, St Andrew's Church in Loxton and St Gregory's Church in Weare.Rev Brown has been in the area for seven years and believes the Badgworth church is an integral part of the community. He said: "The people from the church are more important than the building because they provide the support people need, but a lot of villagers appreciate the fact there's a church there that they can go into and sit quietly. They are comforted by the thought it's there for if they want to get married, baptised or for when they die.

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