Bookworms flock to church for two-day sale as 4,000 books sell

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

The pews of a north Norfolk church were filled with far more volumes than just the Holy Bible as scores of people flocked to a book fair. 

The Friends of Cley Church hosted the two-day event to cap off August and raise money for the restoration fund of Saint Margaret's, in Cley-next-the-sea.  

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

Dr Victoria Holliday, from the Friends group and the chairman of Cley Parish Council, said the book fair was a new event held to take the place of an annual village fete, which was called off this year due to uncertainty around coronavirus restrictions. 

Dr Holliday said between 4,000 and 5,000 of the roughly 8,000 books on offer - which had been donated to the Friends group throughout the year - had sold. 

Cley-based flautist Wyatt Earp played during the book sale Cley church. 

Cley-based flautist Wyatt Earp played during the book sale Cley church. - Credit: Frederic Landes

She said: "We were very fortunate because a lot of people did major cleanouts during lockdown, so we benefitted from that. 


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"We were absolutely overwhelmed by people's generosity."

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Visitors young, old and four-legged attended the book sale at Cley church. - Credit: Frederic Landes

Dr Holliday said the event included a programme, which featured Cley-based flautist Wyatt Earp and a number of pianists.

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She said: "The acoustics in the church are fabulous, so it was really lovely to be able to browse the books with music drifting out towards you. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

"We've been very fortunate because we've just bought a new piano for the church and our vicar's wife, Brenda Lawry, has really revolutionised music in the church."

Money raised will go towards restoration works at the 14th century building, which is currently in need of a new floor.

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

But Dr Holliday said the book sale was more than just a fundraiser, and plans were already being made to repeat the event next year. 

"The idea was also to have a community event to bring people into the church, see their friends and mingle, which they haven't been able to do in a very long time," she said.

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. 

Cley church was filled with books for a two-day sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

A visitor to Cley church browses the offering at a book sale. 

A visitor to Cley church browses the offering at a book sale. - Credit: Frederic Landes

"People were joyful to be out meeting others, and we also had Pimms. A lot of people helped to make it happen and a lot of people came, some from quite far away. Hopefully the book sale with get a bit of a name and continue." 

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