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In 1997, the Church of the Holy Spirit, SW4, hosted its first church fete. Comprised of just a handful of stalls selling cakes and second hand books, it aimed to raise some funds for the church’s local outreach initiatives. 20 years on, no one would have imagined that the same fete would still be going, let alone attracting some 5,000 visitors every year in addition to raising an estimated quarter of a million pounds for local charities during its tenure.
The Abbeville Fete is now a mainstay of South London’s social scene; celebrating London’s diversity, community spirit and local enterprise by bringing Londoners and visitors together in support of its local charities. While the community around Abbeville Road may have changed beyond recognition in the last two decades, at its heart still sits the fete and its continued charitable focus.
Last year the fete raised over £30,000 for its charities and this year they hope to go even further in raising funds for Ace of Clubs (a day centre for homeless and vulnerable members of the community), Lambeth Summer Projects Trust (enabling young people from deprived areas of the community to enjoy a summer programme of recreational and educational activities), Kid’s City (providing before and after-school schemes and holiday play schemes for the children of local families) , Home Start Lambeth (offering support, friendship and practical help to families with pre-school age children across Lambeth) and, of course, the Church of the Holy Spirit’s community outreach initiatives.
What makes the history and achievements of the fete even more remarkable is that it is organised and staffed entirely by a hard working fleet of local volunteers. No event organisers are employed to manage the fete.
From its humble beginnings, the fete has blossomed into something that attracts visitors from all over London and beyond. This year, the fete will feature three live music areas, over 80 stalls comprised of local businesses and traders, a street barbeque and bar, a fancy dress parade (this year’s theme is seaside), a dog show, street entertainers and a dedicated kids zone (bouncy castle, spinning teacups carousel, scavenger hunt, hair braiding and much much more!). Furthermore, the Lambeth Fire Brigade and Abbeville’s local police team will also out in force (police horses, old and new police cars and police dogs all in attendance),with the London Police helicopter even due to make an appearance during the course of the fete.
And for those who are unable to make it on the day, don’t worry. The team behind the fete are one step ahead courtesy of their online silent auction. With a fabulous skiing holiday from Powder Byrne, a kids party at Trinity Restaurant, a VIP day at The Daily Telegraph and tickets to a forthcoming episode of The Jonathan Ross Show all up for grabs, there’s something for everyone in The Abbeville Fete silent auction.
With activities and fun for all the family, The Abbeville Fete promises to be an amazing day out – be sure to join the party.
The Abbeville Fete, Saturday 25th June, 12pm-6pm.
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