Belfast Telegraph

Vicar hands parishioners £10 each to live out biblical parable

By Michael Sheils McNamee

Parishioners of a flood-damaged church in Londonderry have been handed £10 each in the hopes of recreating a Biblical parable.

Last August, St Canice's Church of Ireland was damaged in the flooding which swept the north west of the country, with both the main church building and its nearby parish hall closed since.

The torrential downpour saw many abandon their homes, cars being were swept away, and costly damage to public infrastructure.

After service on Sunday churchgoers queued up to receive ten pounds each, which they are being asked to try and multiply to raise restoration funds.

In total, around £1,000 was handed over to attendees at Eglinton Controlled Primary School.

It is a move inspired by the Parable of the Talents in Matthew's Gospel, in which three servants are entrusted with talents by their master.

In the story two of the servants invest the wealth, managing to more than double it, while the third buries his allocation - not earning anything on it.

Parishioners now have six weeks to put their talents to good use, and try to use the £10 to generate more funds for the church.

Speaking to the congregation on Sunday, local rector Canon Paul Hoey said: "All we ask is that you at least return the money you receive.

"We’re not just doing it to multiply the money – good as that might be – we want you to use it in a way that blesses other people, so that they see something of God’s love."

He added: "Every one of us has been given at least one gift by God. We want people to see that, to use their talent and to help their church. The parish will benefit, future generations will benefit, and we’ll all be blessed and encouraged in the process."

In six weeks time, on June 24, a special 'You've Got Talent' thanksgiving service will be held where parishioners will return the money they have generated.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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