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New style Christmas Sale for Mercy House - and the Mercy House garden transformed!

Judy McGregor describes the Market's bright new look.

"This year Penny and her dedicated team of helpers decided that the old Christmas Market needed a face lift- hence the decision to ask Parishioners for new or nearly new gifts to sell instead of jumble goods. We tried to position the tables in a different location with Christmas cloths on each, to show a more 'Christmasey' theme.

Another innovation was to hire out craft tables upstairs for 25.00 each so that artists and craftspeople could offer their work. Jewellery, prints of local scenes and other artworks were in demand.

For the first time we ran a sponsored Raffle with printed tickets - first prize being 100.00. Penny and I believe that the idea of such a Raffle was a huge success and contributed greatly to our final total of 1,735. (including some very generous donations). Other monies might still come in.

One other new idea was a talk given by myself at Masses on the weekend of the 8th/9th November This might have informed some Parishioners unaware of Diana's work. Fr. Kieron was very supportive considering that the Church was coping with the builders just before the final countdown to the Sale - for which we thank him very sincerely.

The team thank generous donors for their support and would be interested to know what people felt about their bright new look! Please email the parish office:"

Diana has sent her thanks to Fr Kieron and photos of the new and ever more beautiful Mercy House.

Dear Father Kieron, parishioners of St Richards and other Mercy House Friends, I have just received the wonderful news from Penny Finn that you raised a record amount with your Mercy House sale this year in early November. I was fully aware of it all, praying and being there in spirit. Your achievement is simply stunning and truly so encouraging for the labourers in the vineyard at this end.. Your contribution from way over the seas is just as valuable as if you were here, fetching unwanted bread from shops, transporting kids to school, giving English lessons to new-comers etc. In fact in some ways your contribution is even more valuable, for whatever you raise multiplies by at least 15 when it transfers into our currency. Hence, your contribution is truly invaluable in keeping us afloat. See how much you can do!

(Diana later sent this joyful receipt-)

Just to inform you all that the grand total of R26 161.98 was deposited into our Mercy Fund on 25th November. Simply marvellous. A big, big thank you to you all. I kind of lose my breath when I stand aside and see all that God is doing through us, his instruments and truly marvel at his ingenuity.

Your money will be judiciously allocated. There is Christmas coming up, and it enables us to make it very special for our young people, many of whom have not known family life since a very early age, then there is the money-draining return to the new academic year for our students and scholars, which always requires large amounts for uniforms, text books and fees etc. You are empowering us again to let the Ocean of Mercy flow out more and more.

Many, many thanks to everyone of you, each one knowing full well just how much you really have done to help. May you be richly rewarded and I thank you.


The transformed garden

Firstly, the garden immediately after the building of the play centre was complete. Men are building steps down and others preparing the soil for grass.

Diana notes that the addition of a laced brick wall enhances the view and conceals the hard used washing lines and washing!

Characteristically, all this is being enjoyed by the youngest member - Grace, who is one year old, on a slide which Diana says she found discarded somewhere!


The newest arrival ( standing by the new bench) is from Rwanda, having suffered the loss of his whole family - killed one night at their home. Fortunately he was sleeping in an out-house and managed to escape. Dians says he found his way to Mercy House, stunned by what had happened, yet now he is relaxed, happy and smiling.

I found a carved stone angel at an art exhibition - I have called it Angel Faithful - as a tribute to our beloved Sister Fidelis who has been tireless in her work for Mercy house. There will be a plaque "The Faithful Angel who keeps constant watch. Erected as a tribute to Sister Fidelis for her amazing dedication to our Mercy work. October 2008"