The death knell may have been sounded on a village church amid a perfect of storm of Covid and rising costs.

More than 150 years of worship could be coming to an end in Langrish as moves have been made to close St Johns.

The church has been unable to fill an administration post in two years and will need a new roof within the next five.

Leaders asked the Bishop of Portsmouth to begin the closure process as they felt it was unrealistic to launch a £90,000 appeal during a cost of living crisis.

“Closing will be a little bit complicated as it involves church commissioners,” said David Mowlam, Langrish PCC Secretary.

“What happens to the church building is pure speculation.

“It’s well-built but the roof is always the first thing to go. The tiles on the north side will need replacing within the next five years but that will cost over £90,000.

“We were already beginning to think about closure because of Covid and the cost of living crisis. It’s simply not the time for a campaign.”

Langrish is something of a model community as the church, vicarage and school were part of the Waddington family’s vision in the 1870s.

But while only the church remains for now, there’s no sign of community spirit going the same way as around 20 hardy volunteers gave the churchyard its annual clean-up last Saturday. 

Brambles, weeds and vegetation were removed, graves were cleaned and a bonfire offered some heat on a chilly morning.

Whatever happens to the church villagers will continue to look after the churchyard with its glorious views down the valley towards East Meon.

“It’s been a massive project to tidy it up,” added Mr Mowlam.

“We’ve had a bit of professional help but we’ve cleared it up and created for the community this amazing view down the valley. Lots of people have come out to help today.”