Acute money shortage at St John's, 1955

Stuart Billington

At the Annual Meeting of St John’s Church, Lewes, at the Church Hall on Wednesday, the Rev. A P Cameron (priest-in-charge) announced that the Rev A H Rood had agreed to assist him in his duties at St John’s and also at Cliffe and All Saints’ churches, of which Mr Cameron is Rector, at a salary of ¬£350 a year; very much less than the full salary of a married curate.
“When I myself am instituted as Rector”, said Mr Cameron, “I do not intend to touch the stipend, but am going to do the work for the Easter offering and live on the stipends of Cliffe and All Saints’. So you will see we are doing our little best to meet a difficult situation.”
Referring to the question of plurality – the linking of St John’s with Cliffe and All Saints’, he said: “We must face situations of this sort with Christian courage. You will have to face temporary plurality.
“The parish is suffering acutely from shortage of money: that is why some sort of link-up has to be made.
“If we have to think more carefully and put our hands more deeply in our pockets for the sake of our church, we may value it more than we do.”
The Bishop of Lewes had told them that plurality need not last for ever. How long it would last, said Mr Cameron, would depend on the money they could raise and how much life they could put into the church.
If they were to pay for an assistant and eventually reach the time when they could have a rector of their own, people must realise they would have to pay for their Church as their forefathers did. A regular contribution of 6d a week (about 63p today) from a substantial number would do wonderful things.
He announced that the Bishop of Lewes would institute him as Rector of the church on May 12th.
Referring to the Rev A H Rood, Mr Cameron said:
“He has been a wonderful friend, loyal and helpful to me, and I look forward to working with him. We shall do the best we can for these three churches.”

(Extract from Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 20th of April 1955)


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