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Frustration over cancelled fair


CAROL MARTINDALE, [email protected]

Frustration over cancelled fair

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A RURAL CONGREGATION is in uproar because the fair, which it has been holding on the last Saturday in June for 14 consecutive years, has been cancelled this year, with no official explanation forthcoming.
From what Cou Cou has learnt, the head of the flock initially suggested that the fair should be held on July 6, but when the idea was rejected by the committee planning it, he cancelled the event.
Parishioners in the know are particularly peeved over the manner in which the entire situation was handled and are demanding answers.
WeddingThey say it was not until May 29 that they heard by the way that an evening wedding was booked to take place at the church on the same date as the fair. Then, it was suggested that the fair could go on but between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. patrons would have to be quiet so the wedding could go on without noisy interference.
But that idea was rejected by the fair committee as unrealistic, given the fundamental changes to the structure of the event that would be needed to accommodate both. In any case, they argue that since the fair was held at the same time, on the same day of the year for so long, it had become an institution in itself and a much-anticipated event which could not just be moved willy nilly.
They said the several volunteers who ensured through the years that the event ran smoothly would have scheduled their holiday or time off from work to assist with collecting items, cooking food, working in stalls, and doing the other myriad things that have to be done for such an event to be a success.  
What they are especially upset over is the handling of the whole matter. They are saying that given the significance of the fair to the congregation and the immediate community, no wedding should have been set for that same date. What’s more, after realizing this error some effort should have been made to move the wedding. New dateInstead, initially, and reportedly without consultation, the head of the flock informed the church council that he had decided the fair would be on July 6. He then informed the parishioners that this was the new date for the fair.
After he put out this new date, he came to a meeting of the fair committee but still did not tell them why the fair could not have been held on June 29. The committee decided that not having received a reason, they would not work on any fair for any other date.
Instead of speaking to the committee on the matter, he only sent out a note in the church bulletin saying: “At a meeting held on 5th June the fair has been called off. Money for tickets will be refunded.”
Some congregation members are saying that this priest’s actions do nothing to build warmth and communion in a church that has a long, proud history of togetherness. They are actually describing his last action as the proverbial straw ­that broke the camel’s back.
Congregation members are also ticked off that in the church’s annual financial statement there is an expenditure item of over $100 000 listed as miscellaneous. They want an explanation for this too.

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