The Friends of St James the Great, Thorley

 

Report by the Secretary to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 29 April 2018

In last year's report to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) I was pleased to note that the Friends were poised to make a grant to the Parochial Church Council to cover the full cost of the redecoration of the interior of the Church, which had then just been completed. Following the discussion at our 2016 Annual General Meeting, and with the agreement of the Parochial Church Council, we had by last year's APCM turned our attention to raising funds to improve our Church heating. By the middle of 2017 the Friends had raised what was believed to be sufficient funds to cover the full cost of the upgrade that had been suggested to the Parochial Church Council by the Diocesan Heating Advisor. At the request of the Parochial Church Council, we then turned our attention to raising funds for a range of new projects. These were to create a path border for a new Garden of Remembrance in the Churchyard, as the current one is nearing capacity; to undertake work that had been identified in the last Quinquennial Report as being required on the north walls of the nave, vestry and chancel, and on the south porch; and to provide a new floor covering for the Church Room. Many of you will have noticed that the stonework border for the new Garden of Remembrance adjacent to the Church Room is already in place, as is a laminate flooring in the Church Room.

Our main fundraising event during the last year was, as usual, our annual Festival of Flowers and Music held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. The Festival was once again a great success, both as a significant outreach opportunity and also financially.

The Friends' other fund raising activities during the course of the past year were a sale of plants in May, an Autumn Craft Fair in November, and our Sunday Afternoon Teas from the Church Room during the summer months. Most recently we held another very successful and most enjoyable Quiz Evening in February of this year.

The Friends would like to once again be able to offer Sunday Afternoon Teas from the Church Room during the months of May, June, July, August and September this year. However, this will only be possible if volunteers are forthcoming who are prepared to organise rotas for segments of this season, together with those willing to sign-up for the individual weekly slots in these rotas. Please let me or any of the other Committee members know if you are able to help in either way.

During the course of the past year it has become clear that significant sums will soon be required to undertake work in areas of the St James' estate that fall outside the remit of the Friends to support. The Committee therefore agreed that the Friends should step aside from organising a Festival of Flowers and Music and associated Craft Fair over the 2018 August Bank Holiday weekend to enable the Parochial Church Council to use the extended weekend this year for fundraising in support of other parts of the St James' estate.

New members of the Friends are always welcome. The minimum family subscription is only 5.00. By joining you will be supporting the work of the Parochial Church Council by helping to preserve our ancient and beautiful Church building and to maintain our Churchyard.

Philip Hargrave

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