Friends of St Mary's

Friends of the Parish Church

 

The Parish Church has no endowment fund, and, like many others, struggles to pay its way.

By 2002 it was clear that a small church membership could no longer manage to keep it going financially by themselves. It was also clear that many in the parish valued having a village church for itself and for the work it did, but only occasionally attended any Services or, perhaps, just liked to have a church not to go to.

So the Friends of St Mary’s was set up and registered as a charity, both to support the church in the village and to build an endowment fund for its future. Supporters largely consist of those who are not church members.  It’s unusual among such organisations in that it is managed by independent trustees, does not organise fund raising events, and relies for funds on annual membership subscriptions of a minimum £10 (joint £20), donations and legacies. No deductions have ever been made for expenses, and supporters just meet once a year for a get- together and to receive a report and the annual accounts. Membership is practically painless!

The Friends only supports the church and its activities in the village.  Payment towards the wider work of the Church, including the funding of clergy pensions and stipends, is made to the Diocese by church members only.  The endowment fund grows steadily and the contribution to church expenses in the village now runs at several thousand pounds each year.

With clergy numbers falling, a strong Friends is becoming ever more important to secure the future of the Parish Church.  New supporters are both welcome and always needed. Anyone who would like more information or who could possibly become a Friend, please just ask Bryan Wordsworth at Town Farm (01626 352279), Mike Roberts (01626 335091), Liz Smyth-Osbourne (01626 368400) or Brian Mackness (01626 356004).