Thursday, April 27, 2006

parish raises funds by living out the parable of the talents

I saw this story from England several days ago and have been thinking about it since.

The parish of St Peter’s and St Mary's in Stowmarket, Suffolk in England has been trying to raise funds for repairs to the church.

And so the vicar there, Michael Eden (no relation to me or this blog), inspired by Jesus’ parable of the talents, gave 90 of his parishioners £10 (pounds) each and told them to go forth and multiply that amount.

This was last October.

Six months later, with 80 parishioners returning their gains, the parish has raised £4,800 towards the cost of the repairs.

The endearing part for me was what the parishioners did with their £10.

The top money-maker, Jean Hearn, used her £10 to buy ingredients to make cakes, scones and jams. By reinvesting the profits to finance more baking, she eventually turned back in £410.

Five parishioners pooled their handout to organise a barn dance that raised £273.

And according to the news report, "one woman made £90 from ironing, another cooked breakfasts at church sales to earn £141 and a third bought wool to knit scarves and tea cosies that turned a £75 profit."

Well, Rev. Eden was pleased. He said: "It was an interesting exercise and a great success...It was certainly a novel thing to do because, these days, churches have a reputation for taking money off people instead of giving it away."

And he adds: "The message Jesus was putting across was that God gives us all sorts of things in life, but does not expect us to waste them and do nothing."

Read the story here.

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