Heaven sent mystery donation for church

AN ESSEX vicar recovering from a heart-by pass operation had his prayers answered when money from heaven-knows where appeared through his letterbox.The Rev Stephen Hardie, rector at St Nicholas Church, Harwich, had been off work for a month when a brown envelope containing £1,000 in £50 notes suddenly fell on to his doormat.

AN ESSEX vicar recovering from a heart-by pass operation had his prayers answered when money from heaven-knows where appeared through his letterbox.

The Rev Stephen Hardie, rector at St Nicholas Church, Harwich, had been off work for a month when a brown envelope containing £1,000 in £50 notes suddenly fell on to his doormat.

Mr Hardie said: "When I opened it, I was completely amazed. There was only an unsigned note with it saying 'for the tower appeal'."

For six months, the 180-year-old St Nicholas' Church has been appealing for help because the spire and some of the stonework have deteriorated to such a degree that major, extensive repairs costing £250,000 are needed.


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English Heritage has pledged more than £100,000, meaning the church itself needs to find at least £100,000 over the next three years.

Mr Hardie said: "I took it to our treasurer and she banked it straight away. The letter was addressed personally to me and I have no idea where it has come from.

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"It may be someone known to me, or someone I don't know from Adam. It's extremely kind. I don't think I've ever seen that kind of money in cash before - it's a terrific lot and it will certainly help us towards our target.

"It's vitally important that we raise these funds – the church is very much a symbol of the community round here.

"One of the good things about English Heritage's involvement is that they insist on doing the restoration is done to the original design and workmanship."

The appeal's treasurer, Margaret Romeril, said her first reaction on seeing the cash was "wow".

She said: "We are now only about £13,000 short of our target and I just want the anonymous donor to know we got the money and we are so grateful."

Donations can be made by calling Mrs Romeril on 01255 504129.

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