ALL Church of England parishes in the Diocese of Chester have receive a grant of £2,00 made possible thanks to a Second World War investment fund.

Raised in thanksgiving following the end of the war, the fund was established to help parishes meet the challenges of paying stipends at that time.

Parishes have been told that they are free to spend the money as they wish, but are encouraged to use it prayerfully to further local missional opportunities.

“The generosity of past generations has made this gift a reality today,” said diocesan secretary George Colville.

“So, as we give thanks for the old, and prepare and look forward to a new chapter in the history of our diocese, it is my prayer that these acts of generosity in the past can advance our collective mission to those in our care today.

“Parishes are free to do with the money what they wish, but it is the strong expectation that parishes will use it prayerfully in helping with some of the new challenges we face in proclaiming and advancing the Gospel of Christ now and over the coming months.

“As we begin a new chapter in the mission of our diocese, the current crisis is not over and some parishes will have continuing financial problems for a while.

“But this point in time provides a unique opportunity as we open our church buildings once more for individual prayer and small funerals and look forward to a return to gathered public worship.”