Perthshire church shop raises thousands

An annual church shop event run by dedicated volunteers has raised thousands for a congregation in Perthshire.

A group photo of the organisers.
The fundraising committee of the congregational board, led by Audrey Young (9th from the Left) and assisted by Elasaidh Mollison (8th from the left) and Ruth Jolly (7th from the Left). Minister Mike Erskine is 3rd from the left.

Alyth Parish Church made an impressive £12,857 over five and half days, beating last year's total by more than £1,000.

The sale takes place in the first week each July and has now run for 19 years.

Church elder Elasaidh Mollison, who fundraises alongside Ruth Jolly and convener Audrey Young, said that the sale started off on "a very small scale".

"We had a fete and there was bric-à-brac leftover", she said.

"Since then it's gone from strength to strength. Everything we sell is good quality.

"An electrician in the congregation even does the PAT testing of electrical goods free of charge."

Items for sale, which are donated by locals, included small pieces of furniture, toys, linen, electrical goods, kitchenware, handbags, suitcases, pictures, sports equipment, books and jewellery.

Visitors to Alyth Kirk shop
The shop was busy throughout the week

Teas, coffees and home baking also contributed to the lively atmosphere.

Ms Mollison praised the ambitious fundraiser as "a phenomenal effort from all".

"We opened on the Friday for people to bring things - we were surrounded by boxes and goodies. People are so kind. "The three of us who help to run it did almost 60 hours of work each this year, but it's great fun and on the first day we made over £4,000.

"The community spirit is there - people who don't necessarily come to church still support us.

"We are very fortunate to have a dedicated hands on minister, the Rev Mike Erskine.

"Leftover books have been donated to the Scouts who are having a book fest."

Money that has been raised will go towards church funds and will support the redecoration of the church.

Alyth is thought to have been one of the earliest places of Christian worship in Perthshire, although the current neo-gothic church dates from the 19th century.

Donations for the sale are received throughout the year.