A CHURCH made of whisky-soaked Christmas cake was the centrepiece of an edible village-in-miniature, baked by its residents over six months, and due to be auctioned off this week to raise funds for the crumbling church roof.
All Saints’, in the village of Youlgreave, Derbyshire, was made entirely from fruitcake, and iced by a retired florist, Lynn Nolan, and a team of 16 fellow-bakers. The Wesleyan Reform and Methodist churches were also represented. Residents donated oven space and hundreds of pounds of ingredients to Mrs Nolan, to help her bake the 35 cakes needed to make the church and surrounding village.
”I kept finding eggs in my little porch, and little old ladies would come to the door with a packet of sugar and butter,” she told reporters last week. “We also had a mystery man phone up and say that, whatever the shortfall was, he would provide it, because he owned a bakery.”
The town hall, pub, nursing home, butcher’s shop, and bakery, were among the 16 buildings represented.
Mrs Nolan proposed the idea to the parish council earlier this year. Once the project was approved, the donations started pouring in, she said, and the first fruitcake was baked in June. Because they have been preserved in whisky, the cakes are all still edible.
Icing the village took 387 hours. “All the bricks were put on one by one, on most of the buildings,” she said.
The village was on display in All Saints’ until Wednesday, and the smaller cakes were scheduled to be auctioned off at the church yesterday. The Norman church, and two others, were divided to be up to be shared with pensioners.
The fund-raising target was £100,000 towards the church roof appeal. The Assistant Curate at All Saints’, the Revd Louise Petheram, said that the project showed “a wonderful community spirit. . . The whole village has been involved, from people donating ingredients, to people baking the 35 fruit cakes, to those involved in publicity and organisation, right through to our numerous ‘cake-sitters’ who have welcomed visitors into church.”