A RECTOR who handed out
£550 in £10 notes to his congregation, in the hope that they would
use it for fund-raising projects to finance church improvements,
has been given more than £10,000 in return.
Last November, the Revd
Richard Steel (above) gave away his own money to members
of the congregation at Kirkheaton Parish Church, near Huddersfield,
West Yorkshire, and reminded them about the parable of the
The money will go towards
a £700,000 reordering and reroofing at St John the Baptist's.
"Obviously, £10,000 - good as it is - isn't going to do a great
deal, but we already have most of the rest," Mr Steel said. "I kept
the parable of the Talents as a little bit of a final burst for the
One family were
especially industrious. Lucy Jackson, aged 11, made £542 selling
photocards at 75p each; and her father, Steve, raised £800 by
making 30 bird-boxes, which his wife, Lydia, decorated.
"One or two people
couldn't do anything; so they give more directly," Mr Steel said.
"One gave a day's wages; another sold jewellery left by his mother.
Everyone produced something. Even those who couldn't do anything
gave me the tenner back, with interest. No one has given less than
"The whole thing has been
fantastic and very heart-warming. Everyone involved has dug deep,
and been very, very thoughtful.
"There have just been so many stories and conversations on the
back of it. People have been enquiring about what the parable is
about. It was even read live on Sky News; and someone is coming
from Hamburg for the newspaper Der Spiegel to talk to me