Response is an answer to his prayers

A NORTH Northumberland church leader has been encouraged by the initial response after his plea to support a well-used village venue.

In January, the Gazette reported that the Ferguson Hall in Belford, owned and run by Erskine URC, was in need of financial help in the face of rising costs.

Following a meeting last Wednesday, attended by people from across the community, £740 has been raised through the Friends of Ferguson Hall scheme and a number of fund-raising events are being planned with the goal of raising around £3,000-a-year to cover running costs.

Rev David Herbert said: “We have been encouraged by the response.

“We have a lot of friends in the wider community, there’s a lot of goodwill and support. People are really keen to see the Ferguson Hall continue.

“We have got different community spaces across the village and between them there’s a rich menu of different spaces for different purposes.

“We are still open to any further suggestions or offers of support.”

He added that a number of fund-raising events are in the offing, some in co-operation with groups such as the Belford Players.

Following a Gazette article on the hall’s 200-year-old clock, a Rock Around the Clock event is set to take place featuring music from the 50s, 60s and 70s.

Mr Herbert said: “We are also hoping to revive and do more on the cinema front, starting with a Good Friday film.”

The hall will be screening The Tree of Life and more volunteers are needed to help out with the cinema.

Another possible source of income is through badminton – the hall has a full badminton net with a court marked out on the floor as well as rackets and shuttlecocks, a facility which villagers may not know about.

For more information or to offer support, contact Mr Herbert on 01668 219584.