Cup created for church appeal

St Alphege in Whitstable is being given a helping hand with its Raise the Roof appeal, with local master potter.

5 April 2017

Local ‘Great British Pottery Throw Down’ judge creates cups for Whitstable church appeal

  • Orders now being taken for limited edition Keith Brymer Jones bucket cups

  • £150,000 ‘Raise the Roof’ fundraising target almost reached

  • New community and children’s garden to be opened on Easter Monday

St Alphege Church in Whitstable is being given a clay-covered helping hand with its Raise the Roof appeal, with local master potter - and much-loved judge on BBC 2’s Great British Pottery Throw Down - Keith Brymer Jones agreeing to create a limited edition run of his sought-after bucket mugs for the cause.

Marked with a signature quirky phrase, only 264 of the ‘Abide with Tea’ mugs will be made. Although usually retailing for £11.95, as the mugs are for charity, anyone wishing to donate more for their special mug would be welcome to do so.

Rachel Webbley, Vicar of the town centre church, said that she was over the moon when Keith said he would offer his skill and expertise: “I was absolutely thrilled when Keith said he would create some mugs for us, and it was actually my husband who came up with the catchy phrase!

“We are all extremely grateful to Keith for his generous offer of support. It’s indicative of so many of the local people who have taken on challenges, or offered their time and talents to help us. We’re still working hard to reach the £150,000 needed to replace the roof of our beautiful Victorian church. It’s what goes on under the roof which is important, and we really see this church as a place of welcome for the whole community.”

Keith Brymer-Jones said: “I’ve always been bowled over by Rachel’s enthusiasm and tenacity to get things moving in our community. I’m not a church-goer myself, but she and her church community are so committed to our town that I was delighted to be able to get involved with supporting the campaign.”

Launched two years ago, the Raise the Roof appeal is now only £12,000 away from its total, with many local musicians, artists and crafts people having come on board over the years. Talented Whitstable-based painter Ginny Scadeng has also recently contributed a beautiful painting of St. Alphege church which has been printed onto tea-towels, notelets and magnets, which are also available to purchase.

The celebrations continue with the whole community invited to join festivities at the church on Easter Bank Holiday Monday, when Bishop Trevor Willmott, the Bishop of Dover, will come for a blessing service at 11am to open the new church and community children's garden. From 9am to 3pm on the same day, fun activities will include a bouncy castle, tombola and face-painting - all in aid of Raise the Roof.

For anyone interested in placing an order for a limited edition Keith Brymer-Jones mug, or a piece of Ginny Scadeng merchandise, please email: (Mugs are expected to be ready for collection in June).


Notes to editors: For more information please contact Jennifer Ross, Communications Officer at the Diocese of Canterbury on 07702 804 074 or

Photos show:

  • Selfie of Rachel Webbley and Keith Brymer Jones with Abide with Tea cup

  • Rachel Webbley and Keith Brymer Jones outside St. Alphege Church

  • Alphege Easter Monday Fun Day  Poster

  • Ginny Scadeng’s picture of St. Alphege available on a variety of merchandise

  • Raise the roof campaign logo

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