The talents of the congregation of St Michael’s Church in Lewes have raised more than £8,000 towards roof repairs.
Using the Biblical Parable of the Talents as a model, £580 was given out in £10 notes to church-goers at Pentecost.
They were told to go away and use their tenners to make more money. The original outlay was later collected back with ‘interest’.
Ingenious fundraising ideas have included a sponsored vigil, takeaway curries, bread-making lessons, and selling anything from a wedding dress to marmalade. Along with a raffle and numerous bring and buy sales, coffee mornings and afternoon teas, the talents project has turned into a real community effort.
Fr Andrew Walker said: “As well as raising a fantastic amount for our roof repairs the project has helped build up our life together. Everyone has been able to join in, making things or contributing in some way. And we have been able to involve people from the wider community who benefit from our church being open every day as well as being a sought-after concert venue.”
Repairs to the south aisle roof of this historic Grade I listed building will cost more than £55,000. Grants from the Sussex Historic Churches Trust and the Chalk Hill Trust have been promised.
Initial support has also been received from the Heritage Lottery Fund, with development funding of £7,100 awarded to help St Michael’s apply for a full grant. It is hoped repairs will start in the spring. In the meantime fundraising carries on.