A 72 hour marathon fundraiser
Our students get involved in all kinds of wonderful projects during their placements with churches across the East of England. Here ordinand Beverly Hanshaw shares her experiences of fund raising at her Hertfordshire church.
“Since beginning my course in September 2022, I have been made tremendously welcome by the amazing community at St Marys Ware, where I am serving a three year placement.
“On my arrival on my first Sunday, to my surprise, the service was unexpectedly conducted outside in the churchyard. This was because some recent renovations to the historic grade 1 listed building and were encountering some hiccups! The hiccups continued over the past few months and the costs for the scaffolding alone have become exorbitant. Cue a mammoth fundraising project!
“One of our lovely congregation had a brainwave: “Wouldn’t it be great to read the whole of the bible, non-stop? It has been done by people in the past, but our Project Leader, having military organisational skills, decided she wasn’t leaving anything to chance.
“She set to work, enlisting her husband to read the bible through twice and divided it up into ten minute segments. By her calculations, it would take approximately 72 hours to read through. She set up a website with a sign up sheet and a just giving page and promoted the event through social media and flyers delivered.
“After months of preparation, our marathon kicked off on Thursday 26 January. My husband and I signed up for some late night slots on Friday night and just about kept awake (I’m not confident I would’ve held out very long in Gethsemane!). Being in the Church, at midnight, when all around was still and quiet, reading God’s word, like people have done for thousands of years before us, was a very spiritual experience. It felt like one of the thin places where Earth and Heaven meet for a short while.
“Much cake was supplied to keep up sugar levels and the time keepers did a marvellous job of keeping everyone on track and making sure all the books were covered in their entirety (as it wasn’t chronological).
“We finished pretty much bang on schedule, 20 minutes before the start of the main Sunday service, where we celebrated afterwards with some bubbly and yet more cake. We still have some monies to come in, but through a combination of God’s provision and human graft the current total stands at around £8000. A tremendous event all round and one I feel privileged to have been a small part of.
There is still time to give to the renovation project, so if you feel able to support St Mary’s Ware, please click here.