Pensioner turns a tenner into £500

AT 80 retired nanny Jean Hearn could teach City financiers a thing or two - she turned £10 into £510 after her clergyman challenged his congregation to go forth and make money.

AT 80 retired nanny Jean Hearn could teach City financiers a thing or two - she turned £10 into £510 after her clergyman challenged his congregation to go forth and make money.

The Rev Michael Eden, vicar at St Peter and St Mary's at Stowmarket, believed his idea of giving away about £1,000 in crisp £10 notes back in April would generate extra funds to help restore historic windows at the town centre church.

Now six months on and most of the cash has come back - reminders will be sent to those slightly less quick at returning the tenners - with the final tally still being calculated but believed to be up to £6,500.

Mrs Hearn, a fundraising veteran who lay awake at night dreaming up ideas, raised the most of all those who took part.

The worshipper, who has been attending the church for more than 55 years and is president of the local Mothers Union branch, said: “I started by growing strawberries in my garden and then turned it into jam, I grew potatoes and sold them, I made marmalade and that went very well.

“A friend gave me two bags of apples and I bought the ingredients, vinegar, onions, and made 20lbs of apple chutney.

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“And I invited neighbours round for a get to know the neighbour's day and told them all about the church and what we were doing.

“I would lay awake in bed trying to think of different ideas. I really enjoy it and it keeps your mind active.”

The funds, which are still coming in, will go towards the church's restoration of the high clerestory windows, a project currently ongoing which is costing about £39,000.

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