Officials thank volunteers for craft fair help

Clare Priory Craft Fair, crowds enjoying the day. ANL-161007-200946009
Clare Priory Craft Fair, crowds enjoying the day. ANL-161007-200946009

Church officials have paid tribute to the army of volunteers at this year’s Clare Priory Craft Fair which raised more than £8,000 for a string of good causes.

The proceeds from July’s successful fair were presented to the 15 charities on Friday.

These included donations of £1000 each for the St Nicholas Hospice in Bury St Edmunds, the East Anglian Children’s Hospice and the East Anglian Air Ambulance, and for Lotty’s Leg.

Father David Middleton OSA, parish priest at Clare Priory, said: “The annual craft fair, with much hard work from our parishioners, pays for itself and gives us at the Priory the opportunity to say thank you to the very many people who work so generously for the surrounding community.

“The groups that we hope to help this year assist the housebound, ease the plight of the partially sighted, care for those who are near the end of their days, encourage a healthy way of life, airlift people to hospital in urgent situations and give comfort to children stricken by serious illness.

“I say thank you to the recipients of the awards, thank you to the thousands who come to the Craft Fair, and thank you and congratulations to the parishioners who continue to create such a fantastic event.”

Other charities and causes to benefit were: Cavendish Care (£500), Clare Liaison and Support Project (£500), Clare Seekers (£500), Clare Playing Fields (£500), Cole Green football team (£250), Clare Priory Garden Fund (£600), My Wish (in memory of Martin FitzPatrick) (£500), while awards of £50 went to Stoke College, Samuel Ward and Stour Valley Schools.

CAFOD, the Catholic Fund for Overseas Development, will receive £500 to aid the refugee crisis. Presentations were made by Father Ian Wilson OSA, Prior of Clare, on behalf of the craft fair team.

There were more than 130 exhibitors at the fair this, which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year, and about 8000 visitors.

Bernard Rushton, a member of the craft fair team, said: “Next year we are hoping to make it the best ever. We are making plans for a great celebration on July 8 and 9 with our exhibitors and with the thousands of visitors who come every year from near and far.”