In a massive show of goodwill from over 300 individual donors around Australia, St Paul's Anglican Church in Carcoar has been saved from being put on the open market.
The church is being sold by the Bathurst Anglican Diocese to make redress for historic child abuse claims and in December the community was given until March 16 to purchase the building.
On Thursday March 11 at 7pm the final donation ticked the tally over the $450,000 mark and for the Director of the St Paul's Carcoar Association George King, that moment will stay with him forever.
"Two weeks ago we only had $62,000 in the account, and anyone who doubted that we could do this clearly underestimated the spirit of the Carcoar community and how much it means to so many people," he said to the community members who had assembled at the church on Friday morning to hear the news.
"As of 7 o'clock last night we have enough to buy the church."
Cheers rang out as the supporters took in the news that their greatest worry, that the church would become a private residence without access to family graves, wouldn't happen.
72 year old Del Howarth started cleaning the church when she was 16 years old and her husband Ken's ashes are interred in the wall outside the church. Saving the church means a lot for her.
"After 23 years I won't have to move my husband's ashes because that was what it was looking like," she said.
"We need this church, it means so much more to everyone than it just being a church."
Director Mckenzie Graham said that the money raised was more than just about buying the building.
"People who were abused are directly benefitting from our donations, it's a real win-win for them and us," she said.
"Out of something evil, a good thing has come."
George King said that donations are still coming in and more are expected.
"We've had individual donations from $4 up to $100,000," he said.
"Thank you and congratulations to everyone who has supported this special community in keeping a historic and economically important building in the people's control."
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