A village church near Mold has celebrated its 125th birthday by donating £125 to a different community group each month.
St James’ Church in New Brighton has raised more than £1,250 over the last ten months to support ten local groups. The church has run coffee mornings, afternoon teas, hot pot suppers, brunches, lunch and speaker events.
Sue Churm, the Church Treasurer has been co-ordinating the fund-raising and identifying the beneficiaries. “Every time we’ve exceeded our target which is amazing. Anything extra goes into church funds to buy a new kitchen. We’re only a small congregation but we’ve raised the profile of the church by doing this. One person said to me, ‘I didn’t think there was a church in New Brighton, so we’ve certainly had an impact.”
The monthly beneficiaries have included New Brighton Bowling Club, Argoed High School, Mynydd Isa Primary School, Mynydd Isa Junior School, Knit and Knatter/SHARE, New Brighton Football Club, New Brighton Toddler Group, New Brighton Youth Club, BUZZ-AH! and Trapdoor Performing Arts. All the groups have been invited to an end of year celebration in December.
The Vicar of St James’ Kevin Horswell said: “This anniversary year has been about showing that the church wants to share its resources and is part of the community. The congregation has worked very hard to make this happen and have been joined by some who don’t usually have anything to do with church! It’s been a real community effort.”
One of those residents backing the church’s generosity is Ivor Williams. He was born and brought up in New Brighton and St James’ is ‘his’ church. He said: “The church is doing very good work. It must have been very hard for them in the beginning but gradually the congregation is meeting more and more people and local support is very good.”
The anniversary fund raising events have been organised by Sue Churm, Anne Mellor, Glenda Bennett, Janet Warburton, Marlene Smyth, Kathy Stewart, Ann Stanwood-Jones, Beth Hitchman among others.