St Cedma’s Parish Church, Larne, made a profit of more than £8,000 when it put Jesus’ Parable of the Talents to work in the congregation!
On Sunday November 23 last year, ambitious rector Archdeacon Stephen Forde and his very nervous parish treasurer stood at the front of church and gave away 60 £10 notes to parishioners.
The crazy idea was that each would use his or her £10 to raise as much as possible for the parish building fund towards building a brand new church hall. Needless to say the sermon was on the parable of the talents! A good sermon that did little to allay the treasurer’s fears!
Fast forward to Sunday April 19, the day set for the return of talents. An expectant rector stood at the front of church with a large red bucket whilst the congregation filed, in fact some ran, up the aisle and deposited their white envelopes into the bucket.
“What a talented and ingenious lot St Cedma’s folk turned out to be!” Tommy Lyttle, Parish Treasurer said. “We had everything from home baking, jam making, fudge making, flower and plant arranging, home-made sweets to car washing, babysitting, vintage tea parties, coffee and cake afternoons, painting and selling watercolours, making and selling walking sticks, knitting, sewing, a St Patrick’s Irish stew night, a fireside quiz, delivering Christmas cards and rugby coaching. One person even donated his overtime payments earned during Lent.”
Tommy continued: “Was it all worthwhile? Yes! When the count was done the following day the total returned was over £8,600. That was a profit of more than £8,000 (1,433 per cent) with more to come in!”
He said that on top of raising money, everyone had great fun rising to this challenge.
“Many talents came together to make this possible. But one special talent devised what seemed like a crackpot idea and also enthused the parish to enter fully into the spirit of talent making: Our rector the ‘talented’ Archdeacon Stephen Forde. We only worry about what idea is coming next!” Tommy added.