A forgotten May Fayre last held 80 years ago and resurrected last Saturday by its founder Church attracted hundreds of people and raised nearly £1,000 for charity, despite bad weather and having to compete with the FA Cup Final on television. On Saturday May 11 Horsham Unitarian Church, the second oldest in the town, got together with the Butterfly Project, which supports young unemployed, and the reborn Fayre in the town centre just took off.
Project manager Richard James said: “We are really delighted. We had hoped for a good crowd and a useful injection to our funds, but the numbers who kept coming all afternoon and the total money raised was quite a surprise.” The Fayre has brought a positive dual result: a substantial contribution to a deserving charity and a reminder of the presence and work of this historic church within the local community.
Unitarian Church minutes secretary, Patrick Wynne-Jones, said: “The level of support from both the townspeople and the local Press was really heart-warming and we never thought we would raise such a good total for the Butterfly Project.” The variety of stalls and entertainments on offer were key to success - on the gardening front seedlings, saplings, bird boxes, a marquee conducting busy recruitment to the Transition Horsham Community Allotment scheme, and sage advice galore for the green-fingered; then eye-catching tables laden with pyramids of multi-coloured cakes; cups of tea flying off the kitchen worktops; a book stall, jewellery, animal tattoo transfers and lollipops to delight the children; and raffle tickets with innumerable prizes selling like hotcakes.
There was indeed all the fun of the fayre, and that there is nothing in the English Summer calendar so close to people’s hearts as a fayre or a fete was reflected last weekend in Horsham in the number of visitors and their generous spending.