A Senior Moment: Church repair liability could be a shock for homeowners

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Here’s a sobering thought for you. Chancel repair liabilities are back in the news.

If you live near an ancient church, its elegant structure may not be the picturesque blessing you imagined. Out of the blue you could receive a demand for repairs, thanks to an unjust, ancient and, in this day and age, completely bonkers law dating back to the reign of Henry VIII.

In 2003, a Warwickshire couple was ordered to pay more than £100,000 for repairs to their local church. Admittedly this was unusually high as they lived in a sparsely populated area but as a result of their justified but regrettably unsuccessful appeal – and the resultant publicity, parochial church councils were instructed to inform any home owners who are potentially liable to face such bills.

But so far, only 247 churches have registered some 12,000 homes or building plots which are affected - out of as many as 5,000 churches yet to register their rights. No doubt they realise how unpopular they’d be.

But the fact remains - according to my pea-brain mathematics and with the help of my trusty calculator, there are nearly a quarter of a million homeowners who could be in for a very nasty surprise!

Time to repeal this decidedly dastardly and unchristian Act methinks.

On a lighter note I read recently that nearly £6,000-worth of Viagra has been stolen from military bases over the past few years. Good grief, in my square-bashing days, they used to put something in the tea – to achieve the opposite effect. How things have changed!

And have you heard about the new solution for men who can’t function early in the morning?

It’s a shaving cream with added caffeine to provide an early morning kick – “even before you’ve put your trousers on” it says - or off as the case may be! Invented by an American (of course), the caffeine is absorbed by the skin providing an energy boost within minutes.

Strangely it doesn’t have a coffee smell – it has the scent of mint. Peppermint coffee? I think I’ll stick to my electric razor.

Finally, how’s this for an idea to solve our energy problems, reduce our electricity bills and keep us fit at the same time? For years I have had one of those clockwork torches. You know, the ones that look like an electric razor with a handle on it and I doubt I am the only one who rates this excellent gadget as an essential aid to the nocturnal needs of elderly gentlemen (if you follow my drift).

Now I’m sure if we all write to that clever inventor chap Mr Dyson, he’d realise there’d be a big demand for a larger pedal-powered version – a sort of do it yourself dynamo. The family could then take it in turns to pedal away to light up the whole house and bike away the bulge at the same time. Brilliant!

I’m winding you up? Me? Perish the thought.