Composting facility opened with blessing

Hatley St George church compost toilet opened - from left, Councillor Bridget Smith SCDC, John Mercer from Gamlingay Community Turbine Tithe Fund and Reverend Steve Rothwell. Picture: Peter Mann.

Hatley St George church compost toilet opened - from left, Councillor Bridget Smith SCDC, John Mercer from Gamlingay Community Turbine Tithe Fund and Reverend Steve Rothwell. Picture: Peter Mann.

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A composting toilet at the ancient church in Hatley St George has been opened with a blessing.

In his last official event for the parish before moving to take up a new post as priest in Cambridge, the Rev Steve Rothwell blessed the disabled access facility at the church during a gathering of local people to celebrate the new addition to the churchyard.

The toilet, designed and installed by Free Range Designs based in Powys, was made possible by grants from the Gamlingay Community Turbine Tithe Fund, Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust and South Cambridgeshire District Council Community Chest Fund.

The listed Grade 2* church has no mains water or facilities and over the last few years has steadily been growing and enhancing the range of worship services throughout the year, with concerts, poetry recitals, fêtes and walks.

Rev Rothwell said during the service: “The addition of this toilet is a valuable asset to Hatley St George church and the future needs of the building, and will enable this church to be used for more events and longer worship-based meetings such as quiet and study days, reflective services and much more.”

Cambridge priest-poet Malcolm Guite wrote a special poem, Hatley St George, published in his book The Singing Bowl, which considers the contemplative and peaceful nature of the building - a copy of the poem hangs in the church.