Huge savings expected after Church Resources Fayre
16 September 2012
OVER 160 PEOPLE attended the Diocese’s inaugural Church Resources Fayre on Saturday, and early reports suggest savings in the hundreds for parishes who attended.
The Fayre, held at Old Alresford Place, offered everyone in the Diocese the opportunity to find a competitive rate for all their church supplies under one roof with the 23 stalls ranging from stationery to robe suppliers, security systems to fire extinguishers, furniture to copyright advice.
All under one roof – the big names
Organised in conjunction with the National Church of England’s Parish Buying initiative, representatives from Ecclesiastical Insurance, Toshiba, Lighthouse Media and Howe & Chorus were just some of the organisations present.
“It was absolutely fantastic, and a great first initiative on the part of the Diocese,” Richard Rand, from Silchester, said.
“The displays were excellent, the stall-holders were helpful, there were lots of church people who came, and it was very well organised – what a great use of a Diocesan building!
“Also, the input available, the handouts provided, and the amount of publicity surrounding the event – I just can’t fault it!”
From surveys taken on the day, one parish reported that through attending the Fayre they expect to have saved several thousand pounds, while a number of other parishes have reported that day has saved them several hundred pounds.
The surveys also revealed that those who attended overwhelmingly considered the day "beneficial".
For many, beyond savings made, the day provided a great opportunity to seek advice and ask questions on particular aspects of church upkeep and all visitors left with a goodie bag filled with handouts from both stallholders present on the day, as well as some who could not make it.
Rev. Phillip Cochrane, vicar of St Barnabas, Winchester, had come to the Fayre unsure about Parish Buying, but after a conversation with one of their representatives – his mind was changed.
“I was a bit sceptical of Parish Buying because I usually only focus on price but the prices are more competitive through Parish Buying and the contract means churches can buy with confidence – it’s a much more competitive scheme than buying from the open market.”
Support and guidance
The day also provided the opportunity to meet with Diocesan staff and find out what support parishes can receive at Diocesan level.
“To meet members of the Diocesan staff was great for someone new to the Diocese like myself, they were very helpful,” Phillip added
“Speaking to other members of my parish who went to the Fayre – it was useful, and the day was just very well run.”
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