More than 2500 visitors from Yorkshire and beyond braved the elements to come to Ripon Cathedral Christmas Gift and Food Fair, held for the first time over two days on Friday November 26 and Saturday November 27.
A staggering £25,000 was raised, which exceeds previous levels and will help fund the cathedral’s development plans for the future.
Visitors enjoyed a festive atmosphere with 100 stalls selling seasonal gifts and food and music from local groups who volunteered to entertain shoppers! These included: Aysgarth School Choir; The Yorkshire Decibelles; Knot Another Choir and Emily and Adrian Roberts.
The pop-up cafe’s offerings included hot turkey sandwiches and homemade cakes, along with tea, coffee and mulled wine, all served by cathedral volunteers. Children’s craft activities, a chocolate tombola and a raffle were also attractions at the event.
Development Campaign Manager Margaret Hammond said:
The fair marks the start of the Christmas celebrations for the local community. It was wonderful to see so many people back enjoying the spectacular setting of Ripon Cathedral.
There are so many individuals to thank for helping to make this year’s Christmas Fair such a truly special event: Freda Bottomley, one of our volunteers, along with Dean John and his team of clergy, raised a record £1,600 selling raffle tickets; 70 volunteers manned the door, served refreshments and baked wonderful Christmas Cakes which were sold on the fundraising stall; Ripon businesses including Morrisons supermarket provided raffle prizes – Morrisons also kindly provided the mince pies. Soldiers from Claro Barracks helped set up the event an Everyone worked incredibly hard and helped in so many different ways to make sure the event was a huge success.
The event completely relies on the generosity of volunteers giving up their time to help raise funds, which I am sure you will agree is an impressive amount – especially amidst the COVID pandemic, when many of our regular visitors are still cautious about attending large scale events.