Longparish Village Handbook (1999 edition)
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Until 1954 St. Nicholas had its own Rector, who had no other parishes to look after. Until the Great War (1914-1918) there was even a curate to share the Rector’s duties. He lived at the Curacy. The Rector lived in the large white house (now called Woodbury House) which stands next to the Church. The old Rectory was sold in 1980, and replaced by a smaller house near the telephone box, just east of the Sugar Lane/Southside road crossroads.

Since 1954 St. Nicholas has been joined with St. Andrew’s, Hurstbourne Priors; between 1980 and 1999 All Saints, Barton Stacey and St. Michael and All Angels, Bullington were also part of a united benefice. In 1998 the decision was taken by the diocese to join Longparish and Hurstbourne Priors with St. Mary Bourne and Woodcote. Details of church services can be found in the Parish News which is distributed free to every household each month.

Of the three chapels which there have been in the village, only the Methodist one in Southside Road still stands, and this is now a private house. A second methodist one was in Forton, roughly in front of Appletree Cottage, and in what is now a spinney in the garden of White Windows the Baptist Chapel.

The Parochial Church Council

The Parochial Church Council currently has 17 members. A proportion of the members are elected every three years at the Annual General Meeting in March by all those on the Church electoral roll who attend the meeting, and members serve for three years. It meets every other month on the second Friday, and is chaired by the Rector. Those who attend church regularly are eligible for the electoral roll. The officers of the council are elected at the A.G.M. Technically the Church wardens are elected at a vestry meeting preceding the A.G.M. at which any parishioner may vote.

The P.C.C. is responsible for

  1. Supporting the Rector, for example, giving advice about services.

  2. The upkeep of the fabric of the church and maintaining the churchyard.

  3. Finance. The money raised in the parish from collections, donations, bequests, covenants, the Fete and sales is used not only for the running expenses of the Church but also for the contribution, or quota, which each parish pays to the diocese. This goes towards clergy stipends and salaries, as well as other local and central church expenses. Because Longparish has a church school the P.C.C. is also responsible for paying a Barchester Contribution to the diocesan education fund. Major programmes of renovation are financed by special fundraising.

  4. Nominating, with Hurstbourne Priors P.C.C., the foundation governors appointed by the church to the school. The church owns the school building and land.

  5. Hearing complaints

  6. The village hall is owned by the Diocesan Board of Finance, but is leased to the Parish Council, and run by the Village Hall Management Committee A proportion of the profits from the Fete is given to the village hall.

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