A village’s traditional annual church walking day has been scrapped this year. Coppull Walking Day - due to go ahead
Coppull Walking Day - due to go ahead on June 15 – has become a casualty of policing cutbacks and costs.
Now church leaders are considering an alternative, less expensive, event to take its place.
The Reverend John Hudson, vicar of Coppull Parish and St John’s, said: “The police have told us they are not able to provide marshalling this year and if we want to continue we would have to provide out own
He said the estimated cost of doing that privately was £1,500.
He said it was the first time in living memory the walking day had been cancelled and that he could not say if it would go ahead next year.
He said: “It depends on the resources of the police. I understand everybody’s having cuts in funding. It’s a sign of the times.”
Paul Turner, secretary at St John’s said: “We have taken costs into account and it would look like it will cost £1,500 to marshal and police it. With that the church simply cannot afford it and we have decided to cancel it.
“We won’t be doing it this year and we probably won’t be doing it in the future. The methodist church had already pulled out and it just left us at St John’s and Coppull Parish. After the two PCC’s met we both couldn’t afford it and decided to cancel it.”
Coppull councillor Matthew Crow said: “I welcome the efforts of our local councils, MP and the office of the police and crime commissioner as they work to find new ways to support walking days throughout the borough for those churches and community groups that wish to continue with what I know is an extremely important tradition for many.
“In my personal opinion, I believe that far from being a sign of calamity, for those of us with faith in Coppull, this is a calling to find new and better ways of bearing witness in our communities.
“For me, Christian witness is found in the storerooms of our food banks, in the work of our street pastors and is borne out in the way Christians live their lives with compassion and love every day.
“I have been involved with Coppull Walking Day since being a child and I do believe an annual day of witness still has an important role to play in our community but I am confident we can find new and exciting ways of achieving this.
“I will support our local churches in whatever they choose to do.
“Times change and we must change with them.”