Fire in Newton Poppleford

SIR - I read with interest the articles in the last two issues of the Sidmouth Herald (August 13 & 20) regarding the fire at the brownies shed in Newton Poppleford, and am pleased to read that the local community has supported them with donations.

However, I am wondering why your newspaper has only briefly mentioned the fact that, as a result of the fire, the church also lost a shed (with its contents) and damage was caused to both the church and church hall.

Indeed, it would seem that no-one from your newspaper has contacted any of the church officials to discover the impact this fire has on the life of the church and wider community.

The damage to church property runs in to tens of thousands of pounds and the damage to the hall itself will affect some twenty, or so, church and community groups who regularly used the hall on a weekly or monthly basis. These groups will have to make alternative arrangements as the hall will be out of action for a long time.

We are waiting for the insurance company and other agencies to decide on their response, but the life of the church goes on. We will still be holding our regular Sunday services and the other church activities will still take place, either in the church or various locations within the village.

We would like the wider public to know that all activities will take place in September, maybe in a different place, time or in a slightly changed format, but the work of the church goes on!

John Slade

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Treasurer of St Luke’s Church

Newton Poppleford