A STALYBRIDGE church warden has been speaking of the challenges of maintaining a Unitarian Free Christian Church in the town.
Ken Howard, from Stalybridge Unitarian Church, made observations in the Chalice, the church magazine.
Mr Howard wrote: “I am becoming concerned about the dwindling numbers of people attending services.
“We are still maintaining a reasonably healthy number of worshippers, but obviously would like to see more people joining us.
“I understand that these days there are so many forms of alternative activities on Sunday than there used to be.
“Of course we all have other things to do, but modern living provides us all with a ready-made excuse to give church a miss this week.
“When I drive to church on Sundays, I go past the Bayley Street tip where there is always a queue. How can a trip to the tip be more important than attending a church service at any church of any denomination?
“We must decide for ourselves what our priorities are – surely our spiritual well-being should be high up on the list.
“That is not a problem only for our church, many others are having similar ones.
“We can only look at our church, and it is up to all of us to do something about it.
“To maintain a Unitarian Free Christian Church like ours is not easy. We do not have access to any central funding.
“The minister’s stipend, organist’s fees, upkeep of the building, utilities and everything else must be paid for from finances we generate ourselves from fundraising and shrewd investments.
“The committee has a difficult job to juggle finances to ensure we keep our church on a financial even keel.
“Social events are important, both for raising money and for social interaction, but that is not the reason for our existence. Our reason for being here is to worship God, this simple but important phrase is used in our Trust deed set up by our forefathers over 150 years ago.
“I would urge all of you to attend Sunday morning worship as often as you possibly can.
“Attending church should not be a chore, it should be an enjoyable experience for all of us, from the youngest to the oldest.”