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Auction of Promises

Each year, in conjunction with the Christmas Fair, the church runs an ‘Auction of Promises’ in favour of our chosen charities.  In 2023 £4,100 was raised from the AOP.  A big Thank You to all who took part and were so generous in donating Lots or making Bids!

It starts about a month before the Fair (i.e. usually early November) with online bidding via this website.  It’s open to everyone, anywhere, whether in the church or not, so do look here around that time if you’d like to take part.

On the day of the Fair, ‘in person’ bidding also takes place, at the church.  Whether online or in person, it is all ‘silent’ so you can’t see who you’re bidding against, just the latest Lots and £Bids.

If you’d like to find out how it works, please read the FAQs, below, which we hope contain everything to help you understand and take part in the AoP.  If you still need any help just click on the link to email the AoP Team who’ll be glad to help, any time.

The AoP is currently closed, but to see a list of 2023 winners please click on this link to the Lots Dashboard, or on the Gallery  to see pictures of some of the items which were on offer.

Don’t forget though.. click back here early November 2024 for the next Auction of Promises – see you then!


The Auction of Promises (AoP), which has been running successfully at the church for many years, provides a means whereby people are able to offer products or services (‘Promises’) which others can ‘bid’ for over an extended period, without the pressure of an auction room.  A generic set of ideas appears under ‘Show me Examples of Typical Lots’, below.

More recently we’ve also introduced ‘Requests’ whereby those who’d like to receive something can request it, with others coming in to satisfy the request, if they’re able and willing (e.g. an airport run, or trip to the Tip).

Generically, ‘Promises’ and ‘Requests’ are termed here as ‘Lots’.

All profits go to our chosen charities (see foot of this page).

Probably easiest to walk through an example.  Let’s say Person ‘A’ offers to do 3 Lots of 2 hours gardening;  this is submitted to the AoP Team and published on this website as three ‘Lots’.  People can access the website at their leisure to peruse the offerings and make their choices.  Anyone can submit Bid(s) for the gardening at any time by emailing the AoP Team (see below for how to do this).

Some Lots are fixed-price – these are generally for set-number group activities such as meals or outings.   To ‘win’ a fixed-price Lot, you simply offer (Bid) at the asking price, and it’s yours;  fixed-price Lots are filled on a first-come, first-served basis  (tip: scan the Lots early, then get in there quick!)

Other Lots are ‘open’, thereby inviting competitive Bids;  some may have reserve prices, which bids must meet or exceed to be accepted.  For open Lots the winner(s) is/are those who’ve submitted the highest Bids by close of auction.  The latest highest Bids will be updated and published regularly on the website (anonymously!)

In our above example, the highest 3 bidders will ‘win’ 2 hours of gardening each;  note that if someone wants more hours of gardening, they’re quite welcome to make more than one bid against more than one of the Lots.

You can submit a Lot by emailing with details of the Lot(s) you wish to offer, i.e. the Lot Name, Description, and any characteristics, (reserve price, time limit, and so on…)..

We also need your contact details – your own name and email address and, ideally, but optionally, your phone no. (pref. mobile).  If we need more information in order to accept the Lot, we’ll get in touch with you.

Lots can be submitted at any time up to Saturday 25th November – BUT we urge you very strongly to get them in as soon as you can – this will ensure maximum exposure to bidders.

The following are examples of typical Promises and Requests:

A Promise:

Name:                    John Smith


Phone:                    07123 456 789

Lot name:              A weekend in Brighton

Lot description:   A weekend at the Smith’s flat in Brighton, for four.

A weekend is offered in a 2 bedroomed flat with a sea view.  All mod cons, but no TV.

Brighton boasts many historic buildings, an award-winning pier, lots of quality restaurants and other places of refreshment and it can be seen as a traditional English seaside town.

We are very flexible on dates, and would seek to fit in with the successful bidder for the date most convenient for them.

Conditions:           No children please.

Reserve price:      £100

A Request:

Name:                    Janet Smith


Phone:                    07234 567 890

Lot name:              Request for dump / charity shop runs

Lot description:   I will pay £30 if a kind person would help me dispose of items at the dump and charity shops.  This would probably be in spring/early summer between April and June.

Max offered:        £30  (note: if you leave this open, bidders (fulfillers) will suggest prices acceptable to them, which you can then agree or reject).

As soon as the Lots Dashboard webpage is up, accepted Lots will be published on it as and when received (usually same day);  this will enable interested potential bidders to inspect what’s on offer and to prepare their strategy for when the auction opens for bidding.

During the live auction period (i.e. NOW!) the status of Bids will be updated daily at end-of-day, and in near-realtime throughout the final Saturday (waking hours!)

The AoP will take place throughout November, through to the day of the Fair (2nd December), closing at 5pm that day.  During this period you can submit bids electronically (see next section), or in person on the day of the Fair.

Submitted Lots will be added to the website regularly in the lead-up, as received, enabling potential bidders to check at their leisure as to what’s on offer.

You can submit a Bid by emailing with details of the Lot(s) you wish to bid for, i.e. for each one:  the Lot Number, Lot Name (to avoid any confusion), your £bid (round £s please!), plus any extra info such as number of people (e.g. for an offered meal, or similar group activity).

We also need your contact details – your own name and email address and, ideally, but optionally, your phone no. (pref. mobile).  If we need more information in order to accept the Lot, we’ll get in touch with you.

NB – you’re welcome to make as many Bids for an item as you wish, especially if your previous Bid(s) have been supplanted!

When the auction closes:

  • The list of Lots displayed on the webpage – hitherto just showing anonymous bids – will be updated to show the names of successful bidders.  This should happen the same evening.
  • All Lot providers will be emailed to inform them whether their Lots were successfully bid for, either fully or partially, also providing contact details of the successful bidders, so the parties can get in touch to arrange ‘delivery’ of the Lot in question.
  • Bidders will also be emailed in due course to let them know if their Bid(s) have been successful (or not) and, if they have, how much their successful bids amount to, and how to pay it into the church account.

Large numbers of emails will need generating, so your patience will be much appreciated – thank you.

Here’s a generic list of some of the types of things you might like to offer (or request) in the AoP.

Please don’t feel constrained by the following suggestions – the list is by no means exhaustive – besides, we’re always looking for new ideas and inspiration to keep the AoP fresh – so please be creative and please be bold (we love that!).

Our maxim is that “No idea is a bad idea!” – if your idea needs discussion we’ll have that discussion with you;  if it’s not feasible for whatever reason, maybe it’ll spark of a related idea which we can do?!

  • Airport (or similar) taxi runs
  • Baby-sitting
  • Coaching (e.g. swimming)
  • Decorating (indoor / outdoor)
  • Food / meals / cakes etc. – delivered
  • Gardening
  • Group outings
  • Holiday homes
  • Hosting meals
  • Merchandise, Gifts or Craft creations (e.g. Christmas gifts, substantial items of bric-a-brac)
  • Offers of drink (e.g. bottles of wine)
  • Outdoor sports offers (e.g. rounds of golf)
  • Pet-sitting (usually at provider’s home)
  • Photography
  • Quizzes (or similar)
  • Research (e.g. family tree)
  • Sale of items on eBay
  • Talks
  • Treatments
  • Trips to the Tip
  • Tuition


Our Chosen Charities:

As usual, ALL proceeds from the 2023 Good Shepherd Christmas Fête will be distributed between: