URC in Backley is to close after 175 years

Rev Duncan Tuck of Brackley Food Bank which is 1 year old.'110420M-A893
Rev Duncan Tuck of Brackley Food Bank which is 1 year old.'110420M-A893

THE United Reform Church presence in Brackley will come to an end this month after 175 years when Foodbank founder Rev Duncan Tuck leaves the town.

Mr Tuck is the minister for what is now known as the Brackley Community Church which has been serving its congregation from Bracken Leas School since 1997.

Last year Mr Tuck founded the Brackley Food Bank which has so far provided 200 food parcels for individuals or families suffering a crisis. Mr Tuck coordinated the Foodbank but was supported by the other churches in the town which will take over to ensure the service continues.

The URC church began its influence in the town in 1836 as Congregational Church on Banbury Road.

To put that into context Mr Tuck said in the same year Davy Crockett died at the Alamo and the HMS Beagle set sail for Australia with Charles Darwin.

Mr Tuck said the URC in Brackley was always considered a frontier church and moved from one governing body to another as the union evolved. As congregations dwindled the Banbury Road church was sold in 1997 and is now the Heritage Music Shop.

Mr Tuck said: “It was always uncertain how long I could stay. And now, because of dwindling congregations, and financial constraints, the church will close when I leave.”

He is set to leave on Tuesday, August 23 and added: “I will miss the community here enormously. In just over two years I have had the opportunity to get involved in so much.

“I trod the boards with the Brackley players in seven productions, one of which won the National Operatic and Dramatic Association award for best regional play. I acted as the Mayor’s chaplain for one year and set up and ran the Brackley Foodbank.”

Chris Blunden of Brackley Town Council chose Mr Tuck to be his chaplain during his stint as Mayor and said: “The Foodbank has great support from the whole town, everyone has contributed and it has been an amazing project.”

Mr Tuck is to take over a URC congregation in Malvern.