Rev Richard Steel distributed £550 last November in the hope of generating cash for repairs at St John’s Church in Kirkheaton, near Huddersfield.

Church members used the money to buy materials and made products to sell at a profit.

The youth group created a recipe book and 11-year-old Lucy Jackson turned her own photos into greeting cards. Other ideas included selling cakes, chocolates, apple tree seedlings, paintings and bird boxes.

‘It’s inspired people and they’ve really put their creativity into it,’ Steel said.

The £10 challenge also sparked interest from media organisations around the world and television cameras became a common sight around the church and village.

The story was covered by Sky, the BBC and ITV, and most of the national papers. Steel was also interviewed by CNN and BBC World Business programmes about the economics of giving away money to get it back.

One German newspaper reporter flew over especially to interview Steel about what the congregation had achieved and the story was also covered in the United States and Canada.

‘The reporters were intrigued,’ Steel said, ‘especially about the entrepreneurial aspect of what we’d done and it was great to be able to be interviewed about a Bible story (the Parable of the Talents) and communicate it in such a natural way.

‘Matthew 25 was read out live on Sky News ? it was absolutely brilliant.’ Steel has also been contacted by producer who would like to develop a television proposal based on the ten pound challenge.

He said, ‘This idea has been used by churches before, but this time it has really triggered people’s imaginations.’

The £10,700 raised will go towards installing double glazing, a new floor, toilets and heating.