Church wall raises £4,500 for charity

A SEVEN metre polystyrene wall erected outside a St Ives church to raise awareness of the suffering in the Holy Land has helped raise £4,500 for charity. The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church cancelled its usual Christmas activity and instead put up a l

A SEVEN metre polystyrene wall erected outside a St Ives church to raise awareness of the suffering in the Holy Land has helped raise £4,500 for charity.

The Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church cancelled its usual Christmas activity and instead put up a life size replica of part of the separation wall around Bethlehem.

Father Paul Maddison said: "The lives of the ordinary citizens of Bethlehem have been devastated by the building of the wall around their city.

"If it makes 10 to 20 more people realise that we really need to help these people then it will be worth it."

The Sacred Heart Church is twinned with the catholic parish in Aboud village on the West Bank. Since 2003 Father Maddison has made regular trips to Aboud to take donations.

He told The Hunts Post that the initial reaction to the replica wall, constructed outside the church on Friday, had surprised him.

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He said: "I have just been speaking to the Jewish Chronicle about the wall and how we have had a lot of interest in it not just locally but nationally as well.

"People have been very favourable about what we are doing and I've had about 100 messages of support. I can't believe we have raised in excess of £4,000 in a week."

However, some people have also been critical of the unusual Christmas display.

"A few have not been impressed with it but sometimes things are so important and need to be done despite the criticism you may receive.

"But don't worry next year we will be back to sheep and donkeys."

INFORMATION: The church is taking donations which will be used to pay for food and medical supplies for people living in Aboud. Donations can be sent to: Holy Land 2003, PO Box 140, St Ives, PE27 9AP with cheques made payable to Holy Land 2006.

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