Sadly, the "Friends"
of the Parish Church was dispanded at the end of 2016.
The Friends were until the
end of 2016 a registered charity and the inspiration of the
late Roy Bennett and were formed in 1987 with Tom Grantham
as the first chairman. He was succeeded by Guy Smith and Mrs
Yrina Morgan-Kendall, from whom Mr Mark Roberts took over
in 2000. During its existence it raised many thousands of
pounds in a wide variety of ways in addition to the main events
of Open Gardens, Flower Festivals and Christmas Fayres, with
support given to the Church for its roof, foundations, the
tower and bells, the chairs in the nave, stonework restoration,
the recent conservation and moving of the Darcy monument and
numerous other projects.
The Friends were been blessed with a series
of officers who kept the charity running successfully, and
who organised the various fund-raising events in aid of the
fabric of our historic building. They in turn were helped
by others, not necessarily members, and by the general public
who supported their efforts.
Although the Friends was disbanded in 2016,
it is the intention that the main fund raising events like
the Christmas Fair, the Flower Festival and Open Gardens will
continue to be held on an anuall or bi-annual basis.
Friends were dedicated group of people whose sole purpose
was to raise much needed funds to help maintain the fabric
and fittings our beautiful, historic village church. The building
dates back to the 12th century, and has major 13th and 14th
century work, apart from the early 16th century nave with
its outstanding brick piers. This all takes considerable looking
after, as well as bringing up to date. Regular fund raising
events included our August Bank Holiday Weekend Flower Festival,
the Christmas Fayre and June Open Gardens Weekend.
objective of the Friends was to help keep the fabric of our
historic and beautiful building in good condition for the
future enjoyment of everyone.
did not use its funds for the day to day running of the church.
such membership was invited from all who appreciated contribution
the building makes to our village.
fund-raising activities were also directed towards events
in which the whole village could participate or attend, and
enjoy as well as help to preserve the building and enhance
and restoration are ongoing necessities for any old building.
Over the last few years the "Friends" gave over
£30,000 towards rectifying major problems and making
improvements to the church and in 2013 contributed £15,000
towards repairs to the roof.
monument to Thomas Darcy who died in 1589 (see photo above)
which was in a precarious state in the church room was successfuly
restored in 2015 and moved from the church room to a new position
in the south aisle of the Nave. The consertvators did a splendid
job replacing many missing parts with deliberate approximations
and cleaning the whole. The church was congratulated by English
Heritage on tackling such an expensive job.