Books, glorious books at Docking festival

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A recent national survey suggested that readers were returning to real books and reserving the electronic 
version as a space-saving 
asset for the annual holiday.

Last year sales of books were significantly up and electronic books down, but the popularity of the real thing was evident at Docking’s seventh annual Book Festival in St Mary’s parish church over the weekend.

“There was a steady flow of book lovers on both days,” said organiser Jenny Barker.

“It was quite hectic at one time on Saturday morning.”

Around 2,000 donated books were on display encompassing almost every subject under the sun, including an extensive children’s section. “There was also an encouraging number of children browsing through them,” added Mrs Barker.

Last year the event made approximately £1,800.

Encouraging people, especially youngsters, to read was vitally important in a literate society but the vicar, the Rev Peter Cook, said that money-raising events were also very important to the church.

The festival money may be used to help with a developing plan to make the church more user-friendly. “We are putting a whole load of lights on the outside of the very dark north side of the church to make the church accessible for people visiting in the winter.

“We are also replacing the very dark inner porch with glass doors to make it more light and welcoming.”

Future plans also include installing a toilet and arranging the space inside the church to make it a more useable space that can be used by the community for a wider range of activities.

He added that the church has to run many fund-raising events.

One major annual expense was the parish share that must be paid to the Diocese. “It’s £19,000 and for the five churches in the benefice it is £61,000,” he said.