Suffolk churchgoers' Bulgarian boost
WORSHIPPERS in Suffolk have donated £11,500 during one service to help people in eastern Europe.Four years ago, St Mary the Virgin at Bures, near Sudbury, began a link with a Methodist church in the northern Bulgarian city of Russe.
WORSHIPPERS in Suffolk have donated £11,500 during one service to help people in eastern Europe.
Four years ago, St Mary the Virgin at Bures, near Sudbury, began a link with a Methodist church in the northern Bulgarian city of Russe.
The link was set up through a Suffolk charity "European Partners in Christ'' (EPIC). Since then the parish has been supporting the work of the pastor Daniel Nalbantsky and his wife Emelia.
Following a visit the couple made to the benefice this summer, the churches of Assington, Bures and Little Cornard decided to see if it could help raise some of the £11,500 needed to buy the land and build a new church.
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The amount needed was donated at the harvest celebrations in the benefice, with worshippers from Little Cornard and Assington sending donations to join the money given in one go during the service at nearby Bures last month.
The Rev Robin King, vicar at St Mary's in Bures and the priest responsible for all three communities, said: "This represents a real spiritual harvest. People were moved to respond when they saw such a need.
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"We had donations from over a hundred people. After the service when we counted the money I was amazed that we'd reached our target in just one go. The wonderful thing is that the amount represents real generosity from all members of our churches."
Mr Nalbantsky said: "This is indeed exceptional generosity, and I wonder how we earned this boundless trust of theirs. Through them, God is showing us how much he expects us to do for him in the future and we accept it as a challenge."
The church, which will be built next year to serve the suburbs of Russe, an industrial city of about 200,000 people on the Bulgarian/Romanian border.
The donation comes after the latest Church of England "generosity league table" found the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese ranked 39th out of 43 dioceses for generosity.