A CHURCH wives group has closed after more than 50 years of fundraising.
The Wickersley Methodist Wives Group officially closed after raising almost £65,000 over 56 years.
The group has donated to the church and local community groups, with Rotherham Hospice their main charity since fundraising for the building began in the 1980s.
President Ann Ashton welcomed Wentworth and Dearne MP John Healey and Pastor Wayne Ashton to the closing ceremony on May 14 along with current officers of the group who had served for many years, including Ann herself, vice president Margaret Baldry, secretary Irene Hartley, treasurer Anita Taylor and assistant treasurer Anne Hampshire.
Mr Healey presented each member with a certificate and gift, which will also be given to founder members Freda McNally and Ann Mitchell.
The remaining funds of £700 were donated to the church and the hospice’s Sunbeams Unit.
Irene said: “It was a sad occasion but we have many happy memories. I have also received many messages from individuals associated with the group over the years expressing their sadness. One of the messages was from a former Methodist Minister now in Texas.
“Members of the group hope to meet up socially when conditions allow.”
Mr Healey said: “I couldn’t just let this pass. I wanted to say a big thank you on behalf of so many people who’ve never been able to say that themselves, from Rotherham Hospice staff, patients and families, to the striking miners in 1985 and, of course, the church.
“They’ve been at the heart of the congregation in Wickersley and the heart of the community in Rotherham for over 50 years.”