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Delight for parishioners facing church repair bill
CAMPAIGNERS in Broadway who feared they may be forced to fund repairs to a village church under an archaic law can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
About 40 plots of land in Broadway were thought to be affected by Chancel Repair Liability, a law that stems back to the reign of Henry VIII.
Residents discovered they were to become lay rectors, making them responsible for paying for repairs to St Eadburgha’s Church in Snowshill Road, when they received a letter from the parochial church council via the Land Registry telling them they were registering the liability on the deeds of their homes.
But an exemption to the law in this case has now been granted, bringing an end to six weeks of worry for many villagers.
Bill and Cathy Whamond, of Collin Court, Broadway, contacted the Journal in July about their plight. They started a campaign against the law which they hope will be carried on as other people around the country are affected by the law.
Mr Whamond said: “We are feeling very relieved. We can’t fully celebrate until we receive the official withdrawal letter but we’re very happy.”
The exemption, known as a section 110, was granted by the Charity Commission and ensures members of the PCC, who are volunteers, will not be liable for repair costs either.
Rev Michelle Massey, vicar of Broadway, said they would be holding a celebratory songs of praise event once the liability was officially removed.
She said: “The section 110 is wonderful. To find out so quickly is amazing, I think the pressure from everyone including the Journal has helped.”
Mid Worcestershire MP Peter Luff, who took the campaign to the House of Commons, said: “This news is huge step forward locally.
The saga is by no means over but this is definitely a step in the right direction and a cause for optimism.”