Shaftesbury’s residents who worship at our town’s Catholic church will be performing to raise thousands of pounds for roof repairs. Alfred spoke with parishioner Helen Jupp about Wednesday’s evening of song.
Scaffolding was erected on The Most Holy Name and St Edward the Martyr Catholic Church on Salisbury Street last year, during works on the building’s presbytery. Maintaining old churches can be costly and more repairs are planned, as soon as supporters can raise enough money. “It’s a listed building. It was built in 1910. It needs quite a lot of repair as you can imagine and we are trying to support the fundraising for this,” said Helen Jupp, one of the parishioners and performers.
“We did a concert last November and managed to raise £2,000,” said Helen, who says there will need to be more events before they raise enough to undertake the repairs. “It’s going to be around £37,000. Father John has also approached the historic church fund.”
This Wednesday, Helen will help to the church get nearer to its target. She will be singing in a concert at St Mary’s School, both as part of the church choir and with her own version of a Barbara Streisand classic. “I will be performing a solo number – ‘The Way We Were’,” said Helen.
During the evening some of the school’s pupils and staff will sing. Helen compares a musical family who attend the church – the Forresters – to the von Trapps from ‘The Sound of Music’. They will be entertaining the audience. “The mother and father have nine children. The whole family is going to be supporting us in our concert and performing various numbers on oboe and cello, as well as singing,” she said.
Shaftesbury’s Roman Catholic church congregation isn’t large, but Helen is hoping that people in neighbouring communities will come along. “We don’t have a huge number. However the parish churches of Our Lady in Marnhull and St Benedict’s Church in Gillingham know about our fundraising and we will have support from some of those parishioners too,” said Helen.
The event takes place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 12th February in the Chapel at St Mary’s School, a place that Helen describes as ‘particularly beautiful’. “Children will be free and also performers, although we would like a donation towards the parish. Tickets for everybody else are £10 and you can buy them at the door,” she said. Refreshments will be served in the interval.
Helen also welcomes direct donations towards the roof repairs. “If anybody did want to help in any way then they can contact us at the church and we would be most grateful for their support.”