On 2 July, St Augustine, Solihull, held their annual summer fayre in the church garden. The Church designed by Augustus Pugin is a gem set in the Town Centre between John Lewis and Waitrose supermarket. Although the weather was mixed, the day was still a great success, raising £3,098 for CAFOD. I caught up with Michael Keating, who has been taking part in their fayres for many years.
“We have been holding fayres in the parish for over 30 years now, and usually, we have two fayres a year, one at Christmas and a summer fayre. We have a long history of supporting CAFOD fundraising.”
“This year the weather was mixed, meaning not as many people could attend, but the parishioners are always very generous and even if they didn’t attend on the day, they still contributed towards the effort. Many people in the parish generously donate their time and materials and we always sell everything at bargain prices.”
“We had a tombola stall which had everything from bottles of whisky to pickled onions, people bought tickets and if the ticket ended in a 0 or 5, they won either a great or a joke prize.
“A group of ladies provided tea, coffee and light lunches ranging from soup to ham and cheese sandwiches, topped off with traditional strawberries and cream, for people to enjoy. We had a musician who played the keyboard and was accompanied by a singer, who sang old favourites from the sixties. If you can remember the sixties you were not there! At the Christmas fayre, carols are sung often featuring our school children.
“We also had a collection of stalls. One enterprising lady collected jars of all shapes and sizes and filled them with sweets and toffees, which the children love. The Catholic Women’s League had a cake stall; there are some excellent bakers in the parish, rich fruit cakes always prove particularly popular and normally sell out early on. There are also ladies who make preserves, jams and marmalades, very often from wild fruit, or fruit which they have grown in their own gardens.
“All that is going on in the background but one of the main attractions of the day is the BIG raffle prize draw. We start selling raffle tickets a few weeks before the BIG day and usually have around a dozen star prizes including a huge hamper.
“It is always a good, interesting and enjoyable day with lots going on . It is a great opportunity to meet new people, catch up with old friends and gossip.
“Prominent at the fayre and having a good time were our very lovable parish dog called Liam who lives in the presbytery and our parish priest Father Dominic Kavanagh, both as sweet tempered, kindly and compassionate as you could wish for.
We wanted to say a special thank you to Father Dominic and to the parishioners at St Augustine, Solihull, for organising the fayre and for their long standing and continuing support.