A blessing of conveniences
People in a parish near Lichfield won’t get caught short when they visit their local church thanks to the installation of its first ever toilet.
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, blessed the new facility at St Mary’s Church in the memorably-named village of Weeford.
The 216-year-old building is one of the few community centres for people living in the scattered rural communities of Swinfen, Packington and Weeford. Like many village churches, the grade II-listed structure is not on mains drainage and has never had its own toilet.
The new toilet required the installation of a septic tank funded by generous donations from the Central England Co-operative’s Community Dividend Fund (Boley Park Co-op in Lichfield), the Lumley Trust and Allchurches Trust.
Bishop Michael said: “It was wonderful to dedicate this new toilet which has come about following a lot of hard work from church members. Making churches accessible to the community through toilets and other facilities is very important.”
St Mary’s Church, Weeford, has already twinned itself with two toilets in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nepal through the Christian aid charity Tearfund.
Janice Eagles, a member of the PCC, said: “Bishop Michael presided over a special service in which he dedicated, bless and flushed our new facility. His sermon reminded us how lucky we are as many places in the world don’t have this luxury.”