All Saints Preservation Trust is appealing again for any unused Christmas or birthday presents LBO readers may have lurking in their cupboards, to re-sell on their stall in Church Square at the May Day Fayre.
As the Leighton Buzzard church prepares to celebrate the completion of a 16-year programme of repair and restoration, appeal director Terry Warburton is asking residents to boost the stall’s wares by making a donation.
“We do this every year,” said Mr Warburton. “The stall is always a popular attraction - helping us to raise money for the ongoing repair programme at All Saints.
“It is a chance to re-cycle gifts which do not suit or perhaps duplicate something people already have. We are always pleasantly surprised at the range of items given to us to sell and also at the many people who turn out on the day to buy.”
Gifts can be handed in to Dillamore Furnishers in the High Street and should unopened and in their original packaging.
All Saints is now preparing to celebrate completion its long-running restoration with a special thanksgiving service at 3pm on May 15, attended by the Lord Lieutenant and civic leaders.
“It will be a very happy occasion and a warm welcome is extended to all our friends throughout the area who have helped through their donations or their fundraising” said Mr Warburton, who is also Chairman of the church’s Fabric Committee overseeing the work.
“Contractors and other experts who have worked on the building down the years will also be there and we are planning to issue a 20-page commemorative booklet to all who attend, telling the story behind the work and detailing what exactly has been done.”
But work on the church goes on. ”It will never be finished,” added Mr Warburton. “A building as old and as fragile as All Saints will always require attention, but at least we have tackled the worst problems which were threatening its ongoing life.”
Mr Warburton has revealed he will be stepping down from his role as Fabric Chairman later this year.
He explained: “With the major project completed, I think the time is right for someone younger to take over. I have been involved with the fabric since 1982, and Chairman of the Fabric Committee since 1995.
“Keeping a centuries old building going is a relay race, with each generation carrying the baton of responsibility for a time and then handing it on to the next”.
He will continue his involvement with All Saints Preservation Trust, which is an independent charity.