Thursday, 25 June 2009

Advertising - The Way to Go!

"They should lift the church skywards," he says of the stunted turrets topping St. John's gleaming brick tower.

But restoring them to their original Georgian grandeur and replacing the leaky roof over St. John's – the centerpiece of the chocolate-box Walham Green parish in West London – is beyond the fundraising prowess of his 250-strong congregation.

"The state won't help," he explains.

Indeed, despite owning 60 percent of all buildings listed on the country's historic register, such as St. John's, the Church of England receives only a tenth of the cash divvied out by authorities for restoration.

Last month the Church of England said the recession has punched a £1.3 billion ($2.1 billion) hole in its investments. So, Rev. Osborne must now reluctantly turn to advertising.

"A billboard on the church tower will help us become a self-funding parish," he explains.

If planning permission is granted, St John's could quickly match the £190,000 ($311,000) cash injection by English National Heritage, Britain's main architectural conservation charity, and meet the estimated $800,000 costs of a revamp.

There will also be strict rules to protect the integrity of the church, crafted by the Church of England and the advertising agency specializing in sales of space on "unconventional" sites.
"There'll be no ads promoting sex, booze, gambling, or cigarettes – so, a giant Wonderbra ad will not be disturbing the residents of Walham Green," the pastor says.

Now, Rector's Ramblings is looking for appropriate adverts for the high bits in St Augustine's Dumbarton. Any ideas?


Morag said...

Given the number of them that "pop in" from time to time, what about offering dog-sitting services? :-)

Fr Kenny said...

A big advert for Idris Ginger Beer maybe more in keeping!