True to the Biblical description of tongues of fire on heads, the Revd Barbara Steele-Perkins sported flame-red locks for Pentecost.
But while Barbara, of All Saintsâ€™ Church, Grayswood, has traditionally encouraged members of the congregation to wear red for the arrival of the Holy Spirit, she also sported her red coiffeur to help raise funds for the leaky church roof.
The village church is faced with a Â£150,000 bill to mend the roof and repair the tower and while a gift day and a programme of events have already raised over Â£115,000 Barbara wanted to find her own way of raising sponsorship.
She said: â€œThe â€˜vicarâ€™ always has to do his/her bit. And they tell me itâ€™s supposed to be outrageous! There was no way I was going to abseil down the cathedral tower, walk the Pilgrim Way or cycle from John oâ€™ Groats to Landâ€™s End. So I decided to raise the appealâ€™s profile in a less athletic way,with my hair.
â€œReplacing my usual solid grey with bright red hair for the occasion certainly did attract attention.
â€œSeveral people said it suited me, one said it wasnâ€™t as bad as she thought it might be, one little girl in the choir poured some cash in my hand â€“ a contribution from her piggy bank. Later, as I was having lunch in our local pub, a complete stranger handed me a tenner.
â€œPeople far and wide have agreed to sponsor me, some extremely generously â€“ on condition they receive visible evidence!â€
And will Barbara grow attached to her new look? The answer is: â€œNo, it makes my head itch and my fingernails and pillowcase have turned red!â€
Sponsor money made out to All Saints Grayswood PCC Fundraisers later this year include a barn dance and an auction of promises. For more details see ???