Letter | What’s next in this sale? All Saints’ Cathedral?

END OF AN ERA: St Aidan's parishioners gathered outside their church in Black Springs in early December after the gates were locked. The building is being sold.
END OF AN ERA: St Aidan's parishioners gathered outside their church in Black Springs in early December after the gates were locked. The building is being sold.

I AM responding to the letter to the editor from Alexandra Tuson (“Black Springs church sale makes no financial sense”, January 3) regarding the closure of the charming country church of St Aidan’s at Black Springs which I used to admire regularly on my way past to Canberra.

This closure, I understand, was authorised by the Anglican Diocese of Bathurst by the Bishop.

I did write to the Bishop regarding his extraordinary drive to sell diocesan property to pay for the compensation to various members of the diocese after abuse by members of the clergy.

I found this move to be extraordinary and I could not believe that the diocese was actually serious.

The diocese is making a claim against the properties in the care of the very people who were the victims of the clergy in the first instance. I ask you to work that out.

I understand that there has also been an allegation that parishioners had been meeting without the permission of the clergy.

Isn’t there a passage in the Bible which says “for where two or three of you are gathered in my name, there I am with you”.

Surely the gathering of the parishioners, wherever it might be, was blessed by the Lord himself?

A church is a symbol of a community. In an era of declining church attendance, surely this attendance needs to be supported anywhere, including Black Springs.

I repeat that I am astounded at the attitude of the Diocese of Bathurst expecting the parishioners to sell their church assets to pay for the compensation of the actions of the clergy.

When the Diocese of Sydney recently donated $1 million to the “No Campaign” of the recent plebiscite, surely they could spare some of their obviously extensive cash reserves to see that the Diocese of Bathurst is not left impoverished by selling off most of its assets.

Am I alone in my astonishment at this action?

Now we see the poor parishioners of St Aidan’s being arbitrarily denied access to their dear little church, which an amazing history being 126 years old.

Goodness me, imagine if you ran a business like that. It would not last long. Who is responsible for this terrible mess? Will All Saints’ Cathedral be next?

Peta Gurdon-O’Meara, Emeritus Mayor of Bathurst