Vicar sets congregation £10 challenge

A CLERGYMAN is again challenging his congregation to go forth and make money after handing out £10 notes.

John Howard

A CLERGYMAN is again challenging his congregation to go forth and make money after handing out £10 notes.

The Rev Michael Eden, vicar at St Peter and St Mary's at Stowmarket, believes his idea of giving away about £1,000 will generate extra funds to help restore his town centre church.

Three years ago, Mr Eden gave away 97 tenners to parishioners in a competition to see who turn £10 into the most cash.

He received back more than £6,270 with church-goer Jean Hearn raising the most, returning £410 by selling jam and cakes.

This time, hundreds of pounds have already been given away at Sunday services and the race is on to raise even more money.

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Mr Eden said: “People have six months to bring the money back, and more. This is catching people's imagination and worshippers are very excited, and fired up.

“You do not need to be a regular worshipper, although we are taking people's names and details and they sign for the money.

“We had some visitors to the church who took some money and have given those taking part a list of 60 ideas including organising a quiz night, clearing out the house and hiring a pitch at a car boot sale with the £10, buying a rope to hold a tug of war contest, and buying ingredients and making jams.

“I have got some seeds and am growing lettuce and tomatoes - and whoever raises the most will get a prize.”

The latest contest was launched earlier this month and a harvest festival service will be held on October 5 where the money raised will be brought back.

The funds will go to St Peter and St Mary's 3Rs project of Restoration, Renovation and Reordering the stunning grade one listed 700-year-old building.

Mike Arbon, chairman of the 3Rs committee, said: “This is a great opportunity to get out into the community.

“It's early stages, we have only just got our £10s. People will be really imaginative.”

Later this year work at the church will begin on the high clerestory windows and an architect is drawing up plans to install a toilet in the church.

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