Festive bazaar that helps to keep historic church open

HOS-HANNAH! -- admiring the Christmas tree at the bazaar is Hannah Stewart -- DISPIC NHUD11-3263-2
HOS-HANNAH! -- admiring the Christmas tree at the bazaar is Hannah Stewart -- DISPIC NHUD11-3263-2

A CHRISTMAS fair has earned a bumper cash-total that will play a key role in keeping historic Hucknall Parish Church open to the public.

The attraction, which included a special appearance by Santa Claus, raised £1,300 on the day and then a further £1,000 from a raffle — making a grand total of £2,300.

It has now been disclosed by the town’s rector, the Rev Kathryn Herrod, that the fundraising from the fair and others like it is crucial.

For it costs £1,500 a week to keep the Market Place church, burial place of Lord Byron, running and open to visitors and tourists.

There is no external funding and all costs have to be met by donations, charity events and services provided by the church, such as funerals and weddings.

The rector said: “Churches are not cheap to run. This sort of fundraising enables there to be a vicar, for the heating to be put on and to keep the doors open.”

Once again, the Christmas fair was held at the neighbouring John Godber Centre on Ogle Street and attracted hundreds of visitors.

Santa made a grand arrival after walking through the churchyard. He went on to chat with children and dish out gifts.

Stalls again included one run by stalwart Rene Flint (93), who has been a fixture at the event with her lucky-dip attraction for the last 54 years.

Other attractions included craft and cake stalls and lunches.

The church youth group provided games, including a steady-hand challenge and a treasure hunt. A tombola and stands selling Christmas gifts, hand-made greetings cards and bric-a-brac boosted the fundraising further.