UK

Yorkshire Vicar Rev Richard Steel Raises £10,000 After Entrusting Congregation With £550

01/04/2013 15:26 BST | Updated 01/04/2013 23:03 BST

A congregation has managed to raise nearly £10,000 after Yorkshire vicar handed out £10 to each member of his congregation and asked them to invest it to help pay for church repairs.

Rev Richard Steel from St John's Church in Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield gave out up to £550 in November after being inspired of the parable of the talents, in which Jesus tells the story of a man who gives money to his servants.

vicar

Rev Richard Steel from St John's Church in Kirkheaton

He gave his parishioners until Easter to invest creatively, telling the Daily Mail in November: "Not everyone in the church has money to give so I thought I'd offer them some 'seed capital' to invest, maybe in baking cakes for sale, buying car washing kit, material to make cards or a woolly hat to keep warm when offering a dog-walking service.

"I want all, from the oldest to the youngest to feel involved in this exciting project and hopefully do some good and have some fun while they are doing it."

vicar handing out money

Rev Steel said he didn't think some people came to church just to take the £10

Mr Steel has now revealed his trust in this parishioners paid off, and the £10,000 will go towards repairing double glazing, a new floor, toilets and heating.

"It's inspired people and they've really put their creativity into it. That was always my idea - that everybody could take part," he said.

In the parable of the talents in Matthew 25:14-30, a master who was about to go travelling entrusted his property to his servants. A talent was a huge amount of money and he divided eight between his three servants.

One servant receives five talents, the second two talents, and the third one talent, according to their respective abilities.

While the first two servants invest the money and double the value of the property, the third merely buried the money in the ground and is therefore "cast out into the outer darkness."