Auction of Promises 

Gilly Wesley reports on an evening of fun, food and fundraising


Auction1On Saturday evening, 18th October, a happy throng of church-goers gathered in the downstairs hall of the United Reformed Church in Pond Square to raise funds for our church and our Mission Partners. We have important and necessary plans for repairs and improvements to our church building; the roof of the Upper Hall, the audio-visual system, and high level stone work repairs to the spire and north elevation. All of these require a great deal of money which at present we just don’t have.

These projects will depend for a large part on the generosity of the congregation – but on 18th October we certainly made a significant start to the fundraising necessary by raising over £10,000 in auction donations, ticket sales and last but not least, almost £500 on the raffle!

As we have done before, we will be giving 10% of the net proceeds to our Mission Partners at home and overseas: Caris in Haringey, Kirima School in Uganda, the African Institute for Contemporary Mission and Research (AICMAR) in Western Kenya, The Bible Society and Barnabas Fund.

Ably led by retired professional auctioneer John Matthews, nearly 90 people packed the hall at the URC and thrilled to the auctioneer’s call, bidding for over 60 varied and exciting promises – from babysitting, to lessons in everything from maths to music, to theatre tickets, to culinary goodies, to two gigs performed by our very own in-house band ‘The Doghouse’, to a ghost walk, and holidays in this country and abroad, to name just a few of the terrific promises offered.

But, as was the case seven years ago, the most hotly bid item of the night, which resulted in a massive donation of £460, was for our multi-talented clergy to appear as (master) chefs and butlers for a night and cook a three course meal for the lucky winners.  Thank you, Jonathan & co, for being such sports!  A massive thank you also to all of you who offered such wonderful promises and to those of you who came along on the night to bid.

Auction2The evening kicked off with a superb meal of salmon and couscous prepared by Veronica and served by a willing band of helpers. Special thanks are also due to Lauren Patman who helped wash up and acted as ‘sous chef ’ all evening, to Lawrence West who acted as bid recorder and to Matthew and Sarah Woodburn who did everything from laying tables to acting as runners for the evening.

We finished with a raffle of fantastic prizes including a sumptuous basket of fruit and a pair of electronic jousting knights (!), as well as many vouchers for services offered by the businesses in Highgate Village – we know how often they get asked for such things, so a huge thank you to them too.

The Stewardship and Fundraising Committee comprises Mark Dailey, Roger Sainsbury, Alan West, Virginia West, Gilly Wesley, and was ably assisted by Kay Langley-May and Veronica Sanderson.
Gilly Wesley, 01/12/2014