Milestone for church appeal

PUBLISHED: 11:24 26 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:30 06 May 2010

On the way

On the way

ONE third of the way there already and going great. That was the encouraging New Year message to organisers working to raise £300,000 to save St Mary s Church, Hitchin. Their effort has already cleared the £100,000 hurdle. And at this month s appeal commi

ONE third of the way there already and going great.

That was the encouraging New Year message to organisers working to raise £300,000 to save St Mary's Church, Hitchin.

Their effort has already cleared the £100,000 hurdle.

And at this month's appeal committee meeting, chairman Morag Norgan also revealed that an anonymous Hitchin builder has promised to donate £10,000 if the appeal reaches £150,000 by Good Friday on April 14.

Estate agent Morag was quick to pay tribute to the chairmen of the two action committees responsible for drumming up funds for the urgent repairs that are needed to save St Mary's which is the largest parish church in Hertfordshire.

Tim Ray, of Tilehouse Street, heads the committee targeting local businesses and Steve Dawson, an account director of West Hill, has devised a successful street-by-street system to encourage individual households to contribute by monthly standing orders.

"It's largely through the energy of these guys and their committees that we have got this far so quickly," Morag said. "We have also raised a further £18,000 from other sources, including special events such as the Holly Ball at Gosmore and Richard Whitmore's fascinating slide show about the church.

"Now, we've been given this terrific incentive to reach the half way target by Easter.

"Unlike other businesses, builders traditionally work on Good Friday so this gentleman thought it would be a good way of encouraging others to donate if he offered £10,000, providing we have reached £150,000 by Good Friday.

"Taking everything into account our current total is £114,000, so we have to raise £36,000 in the next couple of months. It's a challenge - but I believe we can do it."

* Community chairman Steve Dawson is looking for more volunteers to take care of St Mary's Appeal deliveries in the street where they live. If you would like to know more, contact Steve on 01462 630393 or email steven.dawson2@ntlworld.com

* Donors and helpers can also contact the Preservation Trust Appeal Office at Church House, in Churchyard, Hitchin (tel: 01462 457085).

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