Sunday, 24 November 2013

Catholic Charity Event in Hove

View of Catholaity Fair in full flow
Brighton and Hove’s premier Catholic charity event, the 55th annual Catholaity Fair, took place on Saturday November 9 in Hove Town Hall.

Despite single-digit temperatures and heavy rain showers, hundreds of keen shoppers queued outside the Hall before the 10.30am opening.  Inside, more than 50 stalls were occupied by a variety of groups; these included ten church parishes, national charities like the SVP and Mary’s Meals, the A&B Deaf Service, the Scouts - including a Polish Scout Group, and local charities like St. Teresa’s Kenya Project and the St. Anne’s Day Centre. Outside, a musical duo entertained the waiting crowd.

Once Brighton & Hove’s Mayor, Councillor Denise Cobb, declared the Fair open everything was for sale. There were books, DVDs, games, bric a brac, tombola stalls, Christmas cards, bottles, cakes, clothing, shoes, wooden gifts, groceries, lucky dips and Polish doughnuts. To supplement the usual sweets and chocolates, this year Anna Hayward and her daughters from Sacred Heart Parish organised a candy floss machine (a temptation that proved irresistible to many, including her parish priest - who gallantly offered several parishioners a taste of his purchase).

The Fair is really about something much more important than raising money and awareness. It is about recognising, sharing and celebrating the selfless spirit that leads people to undertake charity work. The many young helpers at Catholaity felt its magic, and I am sure they will grow into caring people who give their time and talent to help others .          

Photos and story from Harry Robertson

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