Bolton School Senior Boys

Sailor Matthew Raises £1105 to Help Save Church

Year 7 Sailor, Matthew Kyle, took to the waves to help pay for expensive repairs to his gran’s church - and raised more than £1,100!

Matthew sailed 16km, the length of Coniston Water in the Lake District, to raise money for Bethel United Reformed Church in Westhoughton where his grandmother is church treasurer. The money will go towards a £40,000 bill facing the 153-year-old church, after it had crucial repairs carried out in the summer.

Matthew’s gran, Helen Purnell, said a funding gap of £10,000 to 15,000 still needs to be plugged or the church will be forced to take out a costly loan. She said: “It’s very unusual I think for a boy of that age to think of such a selfless thing to do. He came up with the idea entirely on his own. He just said ‘I think I’ll try to help grandma’ which is fantastic and we met him after he had finished and he really enjoyed himself as well.”

Matthew, who is a member of Bolton Sailing Club, steered his vessel from the north end of the water down to Lake Bank Jetty and back again. He raised the money through sponsor sheets left in the church and its function hall and donations from family and friends. He said: “I really love sailing and when my grandma said we needed to raise money for our church I thought this would be the only way I could help.”

Matthew Kyle Sailing

Matthew raised more than £1,100 for Bethel United Reformed Church in Westhoughton