The distribution of cheques from the proceeds of sales at the Parish of Faughanvale’s thrift shop, New Beginnings, has become part of the Christmas tradition at St Canice’s Church in Eglinton and this year has been no exception.

The shop, on the Benbow Industrial Estate, just outside the village, reinvests in the local community through the St Canice’s Hall Restoration Appeal – which aims to replace the parish hall destroyed in the devastating flood six years ago – and by supporting local charities.

The Rector, Rev Canon Paul Hoey, was joined at today’s cheque presentation by the coordinator of New Beginnings, Roberta Sinclair, and by its administrator, churchwarden Elaine Way. Roberta says the shop is supported by people from right across the local community and the chosen charities are likewise representative of the wider community.

This year’s beneficiaries were the Northwest Methodist Mission, Londonderry Orphan Society, Bishops’ Appeal, St Vincent de Paul and Foyle Search & Rescue. Representatives of the latter two organisations were there in person at New Beginnings’ premises, this lunchtime, to collect their donations.

Canon Hoey thanked all of the charities for the tremendous work they do. “It’s a drop in the ocean, I know,” he said, “but it’s something to encourage you. It’s so easy for churches to get caught up in thinking we’re only here for ourselves but we see it as important to be here to thank you and to support you in the really important work that you are doing.”