The Friends of St James the Great, Thorley

 

Report by the Secretary to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 12 March 2006

The Friends' key events during 2005 were the provision of Sunday afternoon teas in the Church Room from the first Sunday after Easter until the end of British Summer Time, the Festival of Flowers and Music over the August Bank Holiday weekend and the Quiz Evening in October. We are indebted to Nigel Rixson and his small team of helpers for ensuring the orderly appearance of the Churchyard during the year.

The theme for the 2005 Festival was 'Favourite Hymns', with the flower arrangements reflecting hymns chosen by members of the Church family. The Festival had as its objective the funding of the work on the St James' Church building detailed in the most recent Quinquennial Report. It proved to be the most successful Festival to date, both from the point of view of the number of visitors attending and the money raised, the latter amounting to over 4,300. On the Sunday evening of the Festival Weekend Bob led a 'Festival Songs of Praise', during which a selection of the featured hymns were sung and a number of the arrangers explained why their hymn meant so much to them. Bob also brought the Festival to an appropriate close with a short act of worship on the Monday evening.

John Loadman hosted another successful and enjoyable Quiz Evening in October. Our fundraising year was then brought to a close by a raffle organised on out behalf by the Holy Sew 'N' Sews which had as its first prize a king size patchwork quilt that they had made.

During the year an updated version of our Churchyard database was launched on our website at www.friends.stjames.btinternet.co.uk. As well as now detailing all marked interments as of August 2005, the database now also includes all unmarked interments as of that date for which there are known locations and the details have been confirmed from the burial registers, and all interments of unknown location recorded in the register covering the period 1925-1992.

The total money raised by the Friends since its foundation in 1983 has now passed the 100,000 mark. In addition to the 3,500 earmarked for the redecoration of the Church building, the amount committed to the Parochial Church Council for the Quinquennial repairs has been increased to 25,000.

This year the Friends' Annual General Meeting will be held on Friday, 17th March in the St Barnabas Centre, commencing at 7.30 pm. If you are not already a member why not join the Friends. The minimum family subscription is only 5.00 and by joining you will be directly helping to preserve our ancient and beautiful Church building.

Philip Hargrave

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