The church where the Duchess of Cambridge and her sister were christened has fallen into such a state of disrepair that people are barred from entering and visiting their loved ones in the attached graveyard.
St Andrew’s Church in Bradfield, Berkshire closed in 2014 after it became too costly to maintain the church. It was then listed for sale, but only the building – any potential buyer would not have access to the churchyard surrounding it.
The church was listed at £500,000, but no buyer has come forward.
At a meeting to discuss the church, one resident was reported to have said, “I think it’s quite upsetting that word got out that the church was on Rightmove, then removed, and then put back on again.”
The church is to remain closed until the building is sold, which means that families can’t visit the graveyard. Another resident commented at the meeting, “It has caused a lot of upset and now it could be three years that we can’t see the graves.”
Petronella Spivey is quoted in Newbury Today as saying that “there will be no going behind the fence. We can’t take the risk of anyone being hurt.”
“The inside of the church is safe – you just have to get there.”
The goal is to use the money from the sale to build a new church, to be called St John’s Church, in the neighbouring village of Bradfield Southend.
The Duchess of Cambridge was christened at St Andrew’s Church on 20 June 1982. Her younger sister, Pippa Matthews, was christened there as well.
St Andrew’s Church closed after a final service of Thanksgiving and Holy Communion on St Andrew’s Day on 30 November 2014. The church was founded in the 1300s and underwent a renovation and enlargement in the 1840s by George Gilbert Scott, a Gothic revivalist architect.