Saturday, 2 March 2013


This article appears in today's Leicester Mercury:

Christ in the Centre faces funding shortfall
An urgent appeal has been made for donations to meet a shortfall in funding for a re-enactment of Christ's crucifixion.
Organisers of the Christ in the Centre play are about £8,500 short of the £43,000 total they need for the event on Good Friday.
The event, which is in its 11th year, attracts about 10,000 people, who watch the story of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus in Humberstone Gate, Leicester.
Event trustee Jonathan Wheeler has urged people to help them reach their target.
He said: "If you have enjoyed the event, if it has made a difference to your life, then we would encourage you to make a donation.
"We cannot run this on fresh air and goodwill.
"If we don't reach the total we need this year, the event will still go ahead.
"But what will probably happen is that we will go into the next year without any reserves and that might mean scaling it back considerably.
"We would have to have a very deep think about whether the current event remains financially viable."
Increased staging and security costs and the addition of a second performance have pushed up prices by about £3,000 since last year.
The Rev Stephen Foster, joint chair of the event's organising committee, said the extra performance was added due to public demand.
The event receives a £10,000 grant from the Diocese of Leicester and £2,000 from Leicester City Council, with the rest of the costs met by donations from churches, individuals and charities. Mr Foster said: "We have some wonderfully loyal supporters who have donated to the cause over the years.
"But several of them have indicated that they cannot be as generous this year as they have in the past, which is understandable."
Christ in the Centre will be staged in Humberstone Gate on Good Friday, March 29, at 11am and 2pm.
Donations can be made to Jonathan Cryer, CitC treasurer, 4 Honeybourne Close, Oadby, Leicester LE2 5JP. Cheques should be made out to 'Christ in the Centre'.

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