Town church's cash donations

Professor Dominic Tweddle

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Parishioners from a town centre church have donated £15,000 to two other Catholic churches in the area.

The generous congregation of St Joseph's Church, in West Street, Havant, decided to make the kind gesture in what they have dubbed the Great Parish Giveaway.

Christmas came early for St Michael's Church in Leigh Park, which has been struggling with the cost of a major rebuild after the original building burnt down after being struck by lightning in 2001. They were given 7,500.

The same amount was given to the Church of the Sacred Heart, in Waterlooville, to go towards the cost of their new church which is due to open in the new year.

Father Tom Grufferty, from St Joseph's, said: 'We decided to help out two of our neighbouring parishes who had greater financial needs than we had.

'The timing of the handover of the cheques could not be better in this season of giving and receiving.'