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Appeal Angels designed to help church project fly

It was an idea from children that helped to launch a church’s appeal for refurbishment.

Youngsters from All Saints Church, Catherington, in Portsmouth diocese created some paper angels to hang on the church’s Christmas tree, which sparked an innovative fundraising idea.

Now the whole congregation are creating 2,000 ‘Appeal Angels’ – each emblazoned with the church’s Just Giving web page – to give away at its carol services this Christmas.

Worshippers at All Saints hope the drive will help them to raise £150,000 towards their project to refurbish the church. New flooring, new heating and repairs to its Lady Chapel are high on the priority list.

The vicar, Canon Gill Hill, said: “During a recent service, we heard about plans to install new heating and flooring and renovate our beautiful building.

“Our Sunday Club, who meet during our 9.30am service, are currently learning about various saints, and they tell the congregation at the end of each service what they have learned. After this service, they brought in angels they had made, to be hung on the Christmas tree.

“After the service, when we were discussing fundraising ideas, it was suggested that we could make hundreds of ‘Catherington Angels’, and give them away at our Christmas services to publicise our Refurbishment Appeal. Thus the concept of the ‘Appeal Angel’ was born. 

“Angels are a powerful symbol of our church, as we have a medieval wall painting of St Michael the Archangel on the wall of All Saints.

“The next few days will be very busy with angel production, and we hope that all visitors to our church during the Christmas period will support our project.”

Worshippers aim to bring their 12th century church into the 21st century with renovations that will make it warmer and more comfortable. The idea is to make the church building itself more flexible for use by schools, community groups and choirs.

They are looking at installing under-floor heating, as the church is often too cold. They also hope to replace the flooring tiles, install a disabled ramp, and use portable furniture to make the space more flexible.

The £450,000 project is already being supported by a legacy worth £200,000 from former worshipper Tom Sweeney, who died recently. The church hopes to find grants from other bodies too, leaving around £150,000 to be raised in donations and fundraising events.

All Saints Church is hosting carol services for Catherington C of E Infant School and Horndean C of E Junior School before term ends. There’s a crib service for families on Christmas Eve, as well as carol services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

Worshippers will each be given a paper angel with the web address for its Just Giving page - www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ascangel. Appeal organisers have also launched Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.

Pictured: Sisters Jess and Chloe Peett, two of the youngsters behind the idea at All Saints

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