Craft fair, crowdfunding campaign to raise money for Leyden church

The Leyden United Methodist Church at 15 West Leyden Road.

The Leyden United Methodist Church at 15 West Leyden Road. STAFF FILE PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By DOMENIC POLI

Staff Writer

Published: 12-07-2023 3:43 PM

Modified: 12-07-2023 4:40 PM


LEYDEN — The Leyden United Methodist Church has taken its lumps in the past few years, and parishioners hope a holiday craft fair, paired with a crowdfunding campaign, can help raise the money needed to keep the doors open.

The craft fair is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, at the church, located at 15 West Leyden Road, and Town Hall next door. Emily Herron-Clark, a parishioner who chairs the church’s board of trustees, said she hopes to generate enough revenue to pay for general expenses like water and heat.

“It’s just been a struggle,” Herron-Clark said.

She explained dwindling attendance resulted in the loss of the Rev. Larry Lake during the COVID-19 pandemic, as the church was unable to cover his pay of roughly $250 per week. A water leak in the church’s basement fellowship hall in the spring of 2022 forced a renovation of all the lower cabinets and the lower parts of the walls, as well as the removal of the flooring in the bathrooms. To make matters worse, about a month ago there was a water leak between the church and Town Hall, which is where the church gets its water from. A foundation support underneath the ramp at Town Hall had settled and crushed the pipe supplying the water to the church. Church members learned they are responsible for the repair but will be unable to shoulder the cost.

“I’m hoping to generate enough funds to get above water, no pun intended,” Herron-Clark said.

A GoFundMe campaign (bit.ly/3ReuQo3) has been set up to solicit the community’s help. People can also contribute via PayPal at Paypal.me/emelissa3 and Venmo at Venmo@emelissa3. Anyone who prefers to send payment by mail can write a check made out to Leyden United Methodist Church and mailed to 15 West Leyden Road, Leyden, MA 01337.

Herron-Clark mentioned at least 40 vendors for Saturday’s holiday craft fair are buying space at $35 apiece. She also said there will be a 50/50 raffle and a raffle featuring items donated by vendors.

More information is available on the Facebook page, Leyden Holiday Craft Fair 2023, at bit.ly/3uRaoCs.

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Reach Domenic Poli at: dpoli@recorder.com or 413-930-4120.