Fundraisers hit £85,000 target for Easebourne church roof restoration

Scaffolding outside the church'Pic credit - Eric Bounton
Scaffolding outside the church'Pic credit - Eric Bounton

THEY have done everything from making marmalade to knitting Christmas stockings and they have raised a staggering £85,000 in just 18 months.

And it means the members of St Mary’s Church congregation at Easebourne have reached the target they set themselves when they launched their Roof Restoration Appeal in June last year. Not only that but the work has been completed and there looks to be some £5,000 still in the coffers for the phase 2 project to enhance the inside of the church.

And on Sunday November 25, they are holding a special service of thanksgiving at the church starting at 10.30am to celebrate ‘raising the roof’ on time and on budget and are welcoming everyone who has helped, to join them.

Church warden Katharine Minchin has been at the heart of the appeal as a trustee of the Friends of St Mary’s.

“We knew the inside of the roof was rapidly deteriorating, but it was only when we got onto the roof we realised how much more there was to do outside and so we decided to bite the bullet and do the work.”

“There was a very generous donation of £5,000 from the Garfield Weston Foundation which was organised by Andrew Gibson who headed the appeals grant applications, but the bulk has come from the unremitting hard work of the members of St Mary’s congregation,” she said.

“The range of money-raising events has gone from large-scale concerts by courtesy of residents Anthony Bolton and Andrew West to the knitting of Christmas stockings by Joan Howkins.

“Gallons of marmalade has been made by Jean Piggott, and Hilary Craig’s ‘God’s Garden Stall’ at the back of the church on Sundays has kept everyone going with delicious homemade pies and desserts.”

One Easebourne couple who celebrated their ruby wedding this year even asked for donations to the roof appeal instead of anniversary presents.

Easebourne Brownies, with Brown Owl Julia Wain’s support had a ‘Name The Teddy’ event to help the cause.

In addition jumble sales, wine and cheese, the 200 club, household sale, jubilee fete and barn dance all helped the church to reach the magic total.

“You name it, if there was a chance it would raise money the folk of St Mary’s have given it a go.”