Friends of St Michael's delighted by community support
- Credit: Vernon Whitlock/Honiton Village News
Organisers are celebrating after the resounding success of the open day at St Michael’s Church in Honiton on Sunday.
The three-hour event saw 500 people visit the church, with nearly 100 taking up the offer to take part in the tours of the church tower, including its spectacular view over the town.
Organisers were particularly pleased to see lots of families at the open day, as well as older residents taking the opportunity to become acquainted again with a much-loved building. A number of visitors also took the chance to take photographs inside the beautiful fifteenth century church.
Members of ‘St Michael’s on the Hill’ outlined to visitors some of their plans to bring the building back into community use over the next 15 months, as well as their long-term hopes for the building. There was also an exhibition of old photographs of the church.
During the open day £800 was raised towards the campaign to save the church as a community resource. In addition, 40 people came forward with expressions of interest to join a new Friends of St Michael’s group.
The chairman of the organisers, Terry Darrant, said: “I was very glad that the diocese allowed us to hold the open day before the winter. I expected it to be busy but I was blown away by the attendance, and even more so to raise so much money.”
The group are hoping to get the go-ahead shortly from the diocese to run further events at the church. Work on the electrics at the church also still needs to be completed. In the meanwhile, fund-raising goes on. The campaigners hope to start using the building soon for local groups, charities and other events.
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Terry added: “I have wanted to be a part of preserving this building for over a decade now. And our group 'St Michael's on the Hill' is aiming to do just that. We want to bring the church back to the community that obviously still loves it as much as anyone who climbed that steep hill to pray hundreds of years ago.
“On behalf of all our little group, a huge thank-you to everyone who came and supported us today and for helping us start that journey.”