‘Wonderful’ community raises £4,000 for Buxton churches raided by burglars

The Rev Keith Cocking with supporters at the fun day. Photo contributed.
The Rev Keith Cocking with supporters at the fun day. Photo contributed.

Church leaders have been staggered by a community’s generosity after an estimated £4,000 was raised in one day to help two places of worship in Buxton which were raided by burglars.

St James C of E Church and Harpur Hill Methodist Chapel were broken into and damaged on the evening of May 27 and 28.

Several brass and silver articles were stolen from the church, including an altar cross, candlesticks, alms plates, chalices and a wafer box.

A brass bowl, brass candlesticks, brass flower vases and another metallic bowl were taken from the chapel.

But on Saturday, Harpur Hill community groups led by landlady Sharon Hobson at local pub The Parks Inn raised the cash at a family fun day to cover the cost of repairs and replacements.

“We were staggered by the support we have been given,” said the Rev Philip Bridgewater, who was the non-stipendiary vicar at St James until his retirement.

He believed the community had been galvanised not so much by the loss of property, but the lack of respect shown by the burglars.

The fun day ran at The Parks from 10am until the evening, with stalls, games, food, quizzes and music.

“It’s a wonderful effort by the community,” said Acting Buxton Team Rector, the Rev Keith Cocking.

“It shows that the community really cares about both churches’ presence in Harpur.”

Methodist minister the Rev Andrew Parker said the fundraising demonstrated Harpur’s true community spirit.