By Emilie Ng
WHEN Yeppoon parishioner Coleen Bignell learnt The Catholic Leader sales were at an all-time low in her parish, she took up the challenge to personally sell them.
At a parish council meeting Mrs Bignell, who is a member of the council, said the number of copies not being sold, less than half of what is available for sale, was “appalling”.
Parish priest Fr Bryan Hanifin gave Mrs Bignell the challenge to sell all 20 copies that the parish bought each week.
She sold 25 issues in the first week of the challenge.
As well as the occasional announcement at the pulpit, Mrs Bignell stands outside the church after weekend Masses asking people if they’ve bought their weekly copy yet.
“It’s only two dollars a week – how many people buy a Scratchie ticket or a cup of coffee each week for two dollars, but can’t afford a Catholic paper?” she said.
“People need The Leader.
“I’m the first to admit that I didn’t buy it straight away, but it has things, modern things, pertinent to today’s Catholicism.”
After the first successful round of personally promoting The Catholic Leader after Sunday Mass, the parish increased their subscriptions to 50 papers.
“People are coming up to me and telling me they missed out, and I tell them they should have been quicker,” she said.
“Some people haven’t got two dollars on them, but I tell them to take it and have a read, and come back with four dollars to get next week’s copy.”
For Easter, the parish has given Mrs Bignell the challenge to sell 100 papers.
Mrs Bignell challenged all parishes to increase their sales of The Catholic Leader.
“Try it and don’t knock it,” she said.
Paper sales are organised by the St Vincent de Paul group in the Yeppoon parish, which caters to more than 6500 Catholics in the area.