They've done it!

The Warm the Heart Campaign achieved their goal! After the end of the campaign on 29th May, the total stood at £60,075 - with more money still coming in! A fantastic achievement - read all about it on their facebook page https://www.facebook.com/warmtheheartbd5/ or on the Warm the Heart page http://warmtheheart.co.uk/

Below is the story that lead up to this amazing fundraising campaign...

VICAR Jimmy Hinton and his wife Sarah are about to embark on a marathon 500 mile tandem ride to help raise £60,000 needed for a new heated floor at their Victorian church - watch their video here.

The Rev Jimmy Hinton and Sarah Hinton from St Stephen’s Church in West Bowling plan to set off in May, hoping that their efforts will contribute to the church's Warm the Heart appeal, which aims to raise all the money in just 90 days between March 1 and May 29 through a host of sponsored events.

Mrs Hinton is manager of The Shine community project, based at St Stephen’s Church, which runs exercise classes, jobs search clubs, arts and crafts classes, refugee welcome groups and much more for over 250 people each week who pass through its doors - as well as worship for a young and growing church congregation.

But at the moment any heat at the Church has to come from blankets, hot water bottles and the congregation has to “huddle together for warmth” , says Mrs Hinton.

A new appeal website at warmtheheart.co.uk has also been set up to run alongside fundraising plans which so far include comedy nights, concerts, the tandem ride, quiz nights, football tournaments, a 24 hour snooker-thon, a jumble sale, an African fashion show, print making and stained glass workshops.

Mrs Hinton said: “We know that in the last 157 years St Stephens has been a very special place to many people and we want that to be ongoing for another 150 years.

“Our focus is on people; but getting new heating and a new floor is essential for us to work with more people throughout the year as at present we have no heating in much of the space so cannot use it for half of the year.”

She added: “Inside the church it’s so cold that when we meet in here we use patio heaters and we give out blankets and hot water bottles. Amazingly the Juice Fund from N Power have allocated us enough funds to be able to get a biomass heater and underfloor heating which would make the most enormous difference to us. But if that’s to happen we will need to take out the existing floor, put in insulation and then install a new heated floor.” The work NPower has said it will carry out is in the region of £200,000.

Anyone, particularly those with a family connection to St Stephen’s Church from baptisms to weddings, is being invited to buy a section of flooring for £30, while text donations can be made by texting 70070 with the words ‘Warm61 £?’ with the amount to be donated. Donations are also welcome online at warmtheheart.co.uk

More info can also be found on the Facebook page