November 28, 2008

Devon church seeks commercial sponsorship


by David Masters

A church in Devon is piloting an innovative new way of raising funds: sponsorship from local businesses.

Firms taking part in the scheme include a pasty shop, a hotel, a wine merchant, and a funeral director.

Sponsors receive a number of benefits for their cash, including free advertising in the parish magazine and having their name on a poster inside the church.

St Eustachius Church in Tavistock decided to seek sponsors after the Diocese of Exeter told parish churches that they needed to contribute more money because of an unprecedented downturn in funding.

Reverend Michael Brierley, parish priest at St Eustachius, said the sponsorship was similar to church membership, but for businesses.

Nigel Eadie, manager of sponsor the Original Pasty House, said the church is a focal point for those who live in Tavistock, and does a lot of work on behalf of people in the area.

The scheme has so far raised over £1,000 in one week for the church.

Businesses wanting to sponsor the church are charged a yearly fee of £100.

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