Pope’s hat raises amaz­ing £23,000

Fan­tas­tic boost for church hall re­fur­bish­ment fund

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A hat worn by the Pope has been sold for more than £20,000 to help fund the restora­tion of a church hall.

The white skull­cap was put up for auc­tion at a fundraiser for St John’s the Evan­ge­list Church in Bar­rhead.

The gavel fell af­ter fierce bid­ding at £ 23,000, thanks to a knock-out bid from Scot­tish busi­ness­man Lord Haughey, who is well known as founder of City Re­frig­er­a­tion with wife Su­san.

And there was more to come at the amaz­ing event.

A skull cap worn by the Ro­man Catholic Bishop of Pais­ley, the Rt Rev John Keenan went for £ 10,000 to an anony­mous bid­der.

Parish priest at St John’s Rev Paul Brady said the Pope’s hat was do­nated to the event by a choir that was given to it by the pon­tiff af­ter they had sung for him at the Vat­i­can.

“We had a re­serve of a good amount on the Pope’s hat, but we didn’t ex­pect it to go for that in­cred­i­ble amount,” he added. “It is fan­tas­tic.” Also raised at the fundraiser, which was held at a Glas­gow Ho­tel, was £17,000 for the auc­tion of a car, as well as other smaller sums, bring­ing the to­tal raised to an amaz­ing £74,000.

A spokesman for the Ro­man Catholic Dio­cese of Pais­ley said: “Bishop John would like to thank ev­ery­one who helped or­gan­ise and sup­port our first Bishop’s Fundrais­ing Ball last month.

“Our first an­nual event was or­gan­ised in part­ner­ship with Saint John’s, Bar­rhead, and raised an amaz­ing to­tal of £ 57,000, with an ad­di­tional £17,000 for the car raf­fled on the night, which means £74,000 of funds go­ing to the re­fur­bish­ment of their parish hall.”

The parish of St John’s is more than 175 years old, and the re­fur­bish­ment work to the church build­ing, cen­tred mainly on the roof, has been on­go­ing for some time.

We had a re­serve on the Pope’s hat, but didn’t ex­pect it to go for that in­cred­i­ble sum Rev Paul Brady

Auc­tion RC Bishop of Pais­ley Rt Rev John Keenan with Lord and Lady Haughey and the Pope’s hat

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