SEVERAL more charities have benefited from villagers who decided not to send Christmas cards to their nearby friends and neighbours.

In Aldbrough St John, Melsonby and Forcett, the local parish and community magazine encourages its readers to put a greeting in its community Christmas card and make a donation to the magazine instead.

Half the proceeds are given to the Stanwick group of churches’ charities fund with the other half going to secular charities suggested by magazine readers.

The churches’ charities fund sends gifts to several charities chosen each year by a committee of church officers.

In addition to presenting a cheque for £225 to reader Doreen Liston, who is caring for the three parishes until a new rector is appointed, magazine treasurer Sheila Grundy also presented Ian Walton with a cheque for £25 to help the work of the Darlington branch of Cruse, the charity for the bereaved. Dr Walton is a volunteer working with Cruse and last year gave the address at a special church service for All Souls’ Day in Aldbrough St John.