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'Rock star Bobby set to raise church cash'

John Geoghegan in the Echo, an Essex newspaper

A HISTORIC church is enlisting a former member of a legendary rock group as part its fundraising drive.

Holy Trinity Church in Rayleigh, a 600-year-old Grade II-listed building, is hoping to raise 350,000 for essential work on its tower and five windows.

On Saturday, August 15, Bobby Harrison, the former drummer with Sixties rock band Procol Harum, will be playing in the church in a fundraising concert.

The Reverend Mike Lodge said he met Mr Harrison, a devout Christian who is from Southend, and he offered his services to help the church.

He said: “He’s a lovely guy. This came about because he was due to play a concert at another church, Christ Church, in Southend.

“His band were looking for another venue for a charitable performance.

“They came to us, and I said we would offer our facilities for free. He found out about our project, and said he would like to raise money for it. I think the concert will be really good”.

The performance is one of a number of activities taking this year as part of the fundraising drive, called Project 350.

There will also be the annual teddy bears’ parachute jump on Saturday and other concerts.

Mr Lodge added: “The church is a landmark within the community, and people don’t want it to disappear.”

About 200,000 is needed for the tower, and 150,000 for the five large windows.

The church has a 100,000 grant from English Heritage, but must raise 50,000 itself before the end of the year in order to secure that money.

It has already raised more than half thanks to fundraising efforts, including monthly breakfasts on a Saturday.

Tickets for the performance at 7.30pm cost 10 including a buffet. They are available by calling 01268 775240 or 07534 068134.

For more information on Project 350 initiative, go to:

Bobby Harrison's page at 'Beyond the Pale'

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