Church gourmet evening

OVER £27,000 has been raised from a charity dinner which saw a church converted into a five-star restaurant. St Mary s parish church, in Churchyard, Hitchin, hosted 300 diners who each paid £80 for a three-course gourmet meal and were entertained througho

OVER £27,000 has been raised from a charity dinner which saw a church converted into a five-star restaurant.

St Mary's parish church, in Churchyard, Hitchin, hosted 300 diners who each paid £80 for a three-course gourmet meal and were entertained throughout by Hitchin live event specialists Solid Silver Productions.

There was also an auction, in which a watercolour of the church, painted by Hitchin artist Keith Hornblower to commemorate its £300,000 preservation appeal, raised £4,000.

A second diner bid £5,500 to name a new rose, produced by Harkness Roses, which will be sold worldwide.


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Twelve other diners paid £3,100 to join Sir Simon Bowes Lyon and Lady Caroline Bowes Lyon for dinner, where the chef will be Mary Park, who catered for the Queen during her last visit to their home at St Paul's Walden Bury.

A framed shirt, signed by Manchester United and England soccer star Wayne Rooney, fetched £850.

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The evening was the culmination of 19 months of fundraising and the organisers are now hopeful they will be able to announce by the end of the year that they have achieved their £300,000 target.

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