An auction in St Paul’s Parish, Lisburn, which received the support of dozens of celebrities, has helped the parish reach the half way stage of its fundraising target.
The auction on November 19 was one of three events aimed at raising a total of £4,000 to provide a water pump to give more than 200 Kenyan families a clean water supply.
A host of unique items including books, TV scripts, DVDs and shirts signed by celebrities went under the hammer. Top sellers on the night were an Ulster Rugby Shirt signed by the squad which fetched £90, a Parker pen donated by Prime Minister David Cameron which made £70, and a book signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu which auctioned for £54.
Around 100 items donated by celebrities were up for grabs on the night. These had been gathered up by parishioner Mark Jamison, who is fundraising for the pump in memory of his late mother Mabel.
The pump will be constructed next to the new Oloosuyian Maasai Girls School in Kajiado, a diocese with which St Paul’s enjoys a very vibrant partnership. Within Kajiado, the church operates a number of water projects which allow it to provide educational and health services as well as spiritual work. The installation of a water pump will be an important community resource, providing clean water which would be used by more than 200 families – many of whom have to walk many miles to their nearest water hole.
The overall cost of the pump is £10,000, almost £6,000 of which has already been raised by Church Mission Society Ireland (CMSI). This includes money from St Paul’s own Kenya Fund. The additional £4,000 required to complete this project will also enable a pump house to be built, using funds raised in memory of Mark’s mother.
Celebrities who supported the parish efforts included songstress Rachel Allen, Little Britain, Bill Oddie, Sting, Jo Brand, Jude Law, John Motson , comedian Rob Brydon Robbie Williams, Dame Shirley Bassey and many more. Their donations raised some £2,000 for the Kenya project.
Mark thanked all those who helped with the organisation of the event, auctioneer Rodney Clarke and everyone who came and bought on the night. “The people who came along were there to spend and I am very grateful for that,” he said.
It is hoped the rest of the £4,000 needed for the water pump will be raised through a ‘Well Push’ street collection taking place between St Paul’s and Lisburn City Centre on January 15, and a dinner at Maze Golf Club later that month.