Church appeal reaches target
THEY VE done it – Hitchin folk have succeeded in raising the £300,000 needed for vital restoration work on St Mary s Church. Confirmation came this week that an appeal launched in 2005 had reached its target four months ahead of the two-year deadline. In
THEY'VE done it - Hitchin folk have succeeded in raising the £300,000 needed for vital restoration work on St Mary's Church.
Confirmation came this week that an appeal launched in 2005 had reached its target four months ahead of the two-year deadline.
In a joint statement Morag Norgan, chairman of the appeal committee, and Paul Brenham, chairman of the St Mary's Trustees, said: 'This is a remarkable achievement for the people of Hitchin.
"We have had a wonderful response across the board, from industry and commerce and, particularly, from many individual families who have responded wonderfully to our 'street-by-street' appeal. There have also been some extremely generous anonymous donations running into many thousands of pounds.
"This bears out our belief that the people of Hitchin - regardless of faith - consider the parish church that has stood in their town for a thousand years to be an architectural treasure that must be preserved at all costs.
"Thanks to them work has already begun on restoring the crumbling parapets and windows that are so urgently in need of repair.'
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In thanking the volunteers who ran the appeal, Mr Brenham paid special tribute to Morag for her "inspired leadership and positive encouragement" as appeal chairman.
St Mary's vicar the Rev Michael Roden said: "I am overwhelmed, gobsmacked. We have been on the receiving end of an enormous amount of goodwill from the rich and poor alike.
"The appeal team has done a magnificent job."
The success of the appeal meant that St Mary's can remain as the spiritual home for the next generation, he added.
A thanksgiving service is planned to celebrate the outcome of the appeal.