The meeting commenced with a short prayer.
Tony Doyle; Pat Prendergast; Philippa Hunter; Mrs Janet
Williams; Pat & Stuart Hay; Janet Heneghan; Pat Charlton; Mr P
Coppenhall, Mr H. C Nash;
1. Chairman's Report
Bernadette delivered her report (attached) and since
there were no questions following, we continued to
2. Treasurer's Report
Tony Doyle had sent his apologies. Bernadette delivered
his report in his absence (attached).
3. Election of Officers
Without exception, all serving officers were prepared
to be re-elected. With no other nominees for existing offices, voting
Chairman - Bernadette Yarnold - proposed Fr
Richard, seconded G Dudley - carried
Treasurer - Tony Doyle - proposed Bernadette,
seconded Sean O'Connell - carried
The Committee did not have a Vice-Chairman and
Sean O'Connell had been nominated prior to the meeting, by Fr Richard,
seconded by Gerry Dudley - carried.
Secretary - Gerry Dudley - proposed Bernadette,
seconded Fr Richard - carried.
News Letter Editor - Ed Lee. Proposed G Dudley,
seconded R. Williams - carried
Other Committee Members
S Aitken - proposed Bernadette, seconded R McEvoy -
P Hunter - proposed Bernadette, seconded S Aitken,
P Prendergast - proposed G Dudley, seconded R McEvoy,
R Williams - proposed A Wykeham-Martin, seconded Fr
Richard - carried
Members were asked if anyone else would like to
consider becoming a member of the Committee, Peter Baister was
proposed by Fr Richard, seconded by Bernadette and voted on to the
Committee by members present.
4. Future Projects
Members were asked to vote on expenditure relating to
new Window Grills to be placed over some of the stained glass
windows in the church. The grills have been made and will be attached
shortly. The cost will be £384.58. Members agreed.
An alteration to the inside of the baptismal font
was requested. The font is unlined and baptisms have taken place by using
a stainless steel washing up bowl. Fr Richard proposed that a lead lining
should be placed inside the font and the existing drain fitted with a tap
to allow the water to be removed. The cost of providing this lining would
be £250.00. Members agreed.
Fr Richard reported that the existing grill on the East
Window is badly rusted. The rust is emanating from the rods holding
the grills together, and it is discolouring the stone work around the
window. This will need to be replaced. During inspection it was found that
some of the lead is missing, and a small area of glass is cracked and
would need to be replaced. The cost of this work would be less than £1,000
in total. Members agreed to fund the repairs.
The Bell Tower. The lead on the tower roof has
deteriorated considerably, but the temporary measure taken when this was
discovered will be sufficient for the time being. There are no leaks or
problems relating to this, and so it was felt that there was no need to
expedite the replacement of the lead. The re-pointing is also to be left
in abeyance until such time as it is absolutely necessary .
The heating system is to be installed very soon. It
will be housed within the bell tower, close to, but not attached to the
bell frame. A false ceiling will be put into the tower with screening
around the heating system.
New gas piping is being installed at present.
Renewal of the electrical system is also taking
place, and will include replacing the. New light fittings.
The platform in the Sanctuary is to be lifted to
provide an opportunity to check the old electrical wiring underneath, and
to lay down preparations for a Deaf loop system. When replaced, the
platform will be shortened slightly. A parishioner has donated a new
carpet, and this will be laid when alterations have taken place.
The side door on the altar will also receive some
attention making it more secure.
Work on the wall has commenced. The work will
incorporate providing disabled access to the path by lowering the step at
the gate. There were various hold ups relating to the type of stone, the
type of pointing etc., but it has begun at last. Because of the delays and
changes of plan which increased the amount of stone to be purchased, it
has become necessary to shelve the plan to replace the railings.
The Sanctus bell is to be refurbished during the
restoration work being undertaken in the tower.
The Pipe Organ in the chapel has not worked very
well for a long time and the Committee has discussed the possibility of
removing it and replacing it with one more appropriate to St Mary's.
Expert advice has been sought and it has been concluded that the organ is
not best suited to St Mary's. As it is on the inventory, permission from
the PCC at St Sampson's is required for its removal. If this is granted, a
Faculty will be sought to allow removal. The chapel area would then
provide space for alternative use. Some suggested uses are a new
Confessional area; a "Crying room"; an alternative place of
worship; and others. The final decision can only be made when we know
exactly what space we would have to use.
Fr Richard also mentioned the possibility of moving the
pulpit to another part of the church to enhance visibility for
congregation -this is only a suggestion and no decisions or discussions
have taken place.
Fr Richard assured those present that any alterations
would be sensitive to St Mary's with nothing undertaken that would impair
its unique qualities.
Sean O'Connell asked about the graveyard maintenance.
His concern was for the safety of children/adults who use the graveyard at
all times during the day/evening. Fr Richard is attempting to find out who
is responsible for maintenance. Cricklade Town Council maintain St
Sampson's graveyard which is also a "closed" graveyard.
Correspondence is ongoing and it is hoped that a conclusion will be
With the repair of the front wall, it was felt that it
would be an ideal opportunity for the Friends to intervene and pay the
£3,529 extra needed to replace the railings at the same time, instead of
leaving them in abeyance (see above). Members subsequently voted to
transfer the money necessary from Friends' funds to accomplish the work.
It was hoped that the railings, and a lockable gate would act as a
deterrent to the public from using the graveyard without authorisation.
With reference to the work currently being done, Edmund
Lee commented on the archaeological aspect involved. The work
specifically entails digging a trench alongside the main path to just
beyond the door, to accommodate gas piping, and enable the new central
heating system to be installed Another trench has been dug on the other
side of the church to accommodate electrical cables. While this digging is
in progress it is necessary to have an archaeologist on site to provide a
"watching brief' in case any artifacts or things of archaeological
interest are disturbed. Edmund very kindly volunteered to do this. Whilst
nothing major was unearthed, there was a very large stone which provided a
base for one of the buttresses on the chapel which could have been a
pre-reformation altar top. There were no markings or carvings of interest,
and to leave it uncovered would invite deterioration. Now that we know
where it is for future reference, it is to be recovered.
Edmund will provide a written report which he will
circulate at a later date.
Those present were asked if they had any questions or
suggestions for future projects.
Sheila Bellamy-Knights asked about the provision of running
water. Fr Richard explained that whilst water would be desirable, the
excavation work involved would mean deeper, wider and more expensive
trenches being dug and it was felt that we could manage with our current
system of large water containers, since the water is only required for
Barbara Phillips suggested a water butt. Fr
Richard explained that due to the architectural restrictions applied to
the church, the provision of drainage to a water butt would not be
Blessing of Bell
The new chiming bell is ready for hanging and
needs to be blessed. It is proposed that this takes place on Sunday 2nd
December. Sheila Bellamy-Knights was asked if she dress the bell in
accordance with established custom. She kindly agreed to do so.
Musical Recitals, Race Nights, Skittles Evenings etc.,
were mentioned. Robin Bourne suggested that a small sub-committee be
formed to deal with Fund Raising Activities. Initial volunteers are Robin
Bourne, Sean O'Connell and Peter Baister who will try to involve other
members of the congregation in their activities.
Pam Woodley suggested that it might be a good idea to
supply members of Friends of St Mary's with a badge/lapel pin. This
will be investigated and a decision made at a future date.
Bernadette thanked all those members who had attended
and hoped that they had enjoyed being able to air their views and
opinions. She expressed the hope that they would be attending the next AGM
in November 2002.
NEXT COMMITTEE MEETING - January 8th 2002
at St Mary's commencing 7.30 p.m.
General Meeting, 13 November 2001
The inaugural meeting of The Friends of St Mary's was
held under the chairmanship of Tim Cheesman on 30th June 1998.
At that meeting its instigator, Father Richard, outlined the most urgent
maintenance work required by St Mary's, and his bid for £35,000 to meet
it. At that time, it is worth recalling that the repointing of the bell
tower, the heating (or lack of it), and the condition of the organ were
the primary causes for concern. The eight 'Friends' who were present at
the meeting proposed a formal Constitution and asked Fr Richard to seek
the advice of the Diocesan Legal Department with regard to format.
For one reason or another, that Constitution has only
recently been ratified, and this is the first Annual General Meeting to be
held. It is therefore incumbent upon me to apologise to
all those present this evening who joined in 1998 or 1999 that you have
not until now been afforded the opportunity to air your views on the
I do not propose to report on the activities of the
earlier years but I can tell you that the
maintenance requirements for St Mary's increased at almost every meeting
as we included the subsidence of the North wall, possible re-roofing of
the North aisle and reconstruction of the boundary wall fronting the High
Street, and the target figure soon doubled to £70,000. I can also tell
you that every time we attempted to prioritise the maintenance we were
thwarted either by 'red tape' (we are a grade ll* listed building) or the
emergence of some more urgent need.
Now, if you are starting to wonder how we are going to
reach such financial targets, I refer you to the Constitution. 'The
Friends' is an instrument of support to the parish, specifically the
Church of St Mary's. Our fundraising can only hope to meet some of the
needs of St Mary's, the parish meets the rest. Resources being limited, as
there are two churches to support, it also follows that any enhancements
for St Mary's are likely to have to be found from 'The Friends'.
In July 2000 our Chairman, Tim Cheesman, announced his
irnminent retirement and departure to Devon. Tim had worked hard to
promote The Friends of St Mary's since its inauguration and we were very
much aware that we would miss his (and Beverly's) valuable contribution to
our organisation. A small framed sketch of St Mary's was presented to Tim
and Beverly as a token of appreciation.
Fr Richard asked me to fill the post of Chairman, and I
agreed. At the same time we welcomed Robin Williams to our committee, he
replaced Anne Hayes who had left the area. With the changes we took the
opportunity to appoint Edmund Lee as Editor of the Newsletter.
This provides Edmund with a platform through which to share with us his
archaeological knowledge of Cricklade, and especially St Mary's.
Membership of "The Friends" has grown, albeit
slowly. We have 74 members. Subscriptions are not the mainstay of our
finances but they make a significant contribution and demonstrate
commitment. Since our inauguration we have raised a magnificent £24,622.
It must be acknowledged that well over £6K has come to us in the form of
donations, and £5K + from Gift Aid. We thank most sincerely our generous
and mainly anonymous benefactors.
Over the 3 years we have expended the modest sum of
£5,958. Those of you who are parishioners of St Mary's may have noticed
some of the improvements - the covered kneelers, the carpeted pew seats
and a 7 day timer for the under pew heating. Externally, much of the
guttering was renewed in 1999. The 'Friends' has also produced the leaflet
giving a brief history of St Mary's, the framed list of incumbents of St
Mary's, and is responsible for the restoration of the altar frontal.
We have plans for more expenditure which I bring before
you now. We have agreed to fund the overhaul of the 1863 clock which
includes the introduction of an automatic winding mechanism and the
reinstatement of the chimes. This will cost £4,500. Two years ago we
received a grant of £500 from the Waylands Trust towards the overhauling
of the clock in time for the new Millennium. In the event, it turned out
to be a much bigger project than anticipated. it took over a year to
locate a Tower and Turret Clock Specialist and his advice extended the
scope of the project which 'The Friends' decided to adopt as their own.
The work is almost finished, and the bell that will be used to sound the
hours is waiting for its Blessing, after which the restoration of the
clock will be complete. The Waylands Trust grant will therefore be used
for the restoration and regilding of the external clock face.
Staying on the outside of the building, it has become
necessary from a security and Health and Safety perspective to provide
grills to those stained glass windows which were post WWll. The cost,
which includes the templates, is £384.58, and as the parish is facing an
enormous bill for its heating and boundary wall projects, it would be
appropriate for 'The Friends' to meet this bill. A vote will be taken
later in the meeting. On a separate matter, Fr Richard has proposed a
small enhancement to the baptismal font. At present the font contains
a stainless steel washing up bowl which is used for baptisms. A lead
lining and a tap would enable the font to be used as intended without
recourse to a kitchen basin. The lining and tap would cost £250, and
again I recommend this project to 'The Friends' for settlement.
This leads me on to fundraising which is an essential
part of our work. We are indebted to those 'Friends' and parishioners who
have kindly lent their homes for coffee mornings, lunches, suppers, fetes
etc. In the past year we have held a Coffee Morning, an Open Day, an
Italian Lunch and a Flower Festival with Recital- all very successfully.
Other fundraising activities have included participation in The Wiltshire
Historic Churches Cycle Ride, for which we thank our altar servers, a
Musical Evening held in St Mary's and a Skittles Night at the Red Lion.
With so many parish projects vying for attention and support, we have to
limit our fundraising activities to permit others a fair slice of the
cake. Our 'fundraisers' therefore need to be interesting and likely to
generate a good return for the hard work that they always turn out to be!
Changing the subject, I am delighted to report that our
new Bishop of Clifton, Declan Lang has agreed to become a Patron as has
the Rev Ken Withington who many of you will remember as the last vicar of
St Mary's and an enthusiastic supporter of our presence here.
Finally I should like to thank the Committee and
'Friends' for their hard work and support. I urge you all to spread the
word and encourage membership amongst your friends and neighbours. We need
to maintain the momentum of our fundraising and any offers of hospitality
or ideas for increasing the coffers will be warmly received. Moreover, the
wider the appeal the better, as it spreads the financial burden. We are
fortunate to have such a beautiful and historic church - a church that is
held in considerable affection not only by ourselves
but by the wider community of Cricklade. It is our privilege to be
associated with its upkeep.
Treasurer's Report as at 31 October 2001
I am pleased to be able to report to the Friends of St
Mary's that the financial position of the Friends remains healthy. I
should like to thank all the Friends who have committed themselves so
energetically and generously with their time - and with their money.
During the ten months ended 31st October 2001 the
income totalled £6,713 while the expenditure amounted to only £378. This
gave an excess of Income over Expenditure of £6,335.
This surplus is added to the accumulated fund at the
start of the calendar year of £12,329 to give a balance at the bank of
£18,664 at the end of October.
The sources of Income during the past 10 months were:
Fundraising £3,114 - including
£262 from the Skittles Night at the Red Lion
organised by the Parish Social Committee towards the cost of flowers
for the Flower Festival
£222 from the Italian Lunch at Cerney Wick, also
for flowers for the Flower Festival
£2,561 surplus from the Flower Festival in
September. (Together a total of £3,045).
Donations £1,890 - including
£1,000 bequest from the Estate of Mr Arnold Giles
a retired Funeral Director of Cricklade, and former Anglican
parishioner of St Mary's.
Gift Aid Donations £1,197 - including
£227 from the Inland Revenue as tax relief is
Subscriptions from Friends amounted to £450. Bank
Interest totalled £62 (paid half yearly).
Expenditure has been limited to £276 on providing
carpet runners for the pews and £95 towards expenses incurred in the
restoration of the altar cloth. Administration costs were £7.
The Parish Finance Committee has agreed to meet the
costs of the heating installation and the rebuilding of the Boundary Wall
from General Parish Funds. A grant of £1,500 from the Waylands Trust
towards rebuilding of the wall will be transferred to General Parish Funds
when received together with a grant of £2,500 from the Historic Churches
Committee and £1,500 from the Phoenix Trust.
The Friends will meet the costs associated with the
restoration of the clock, and I hope that at this meeting they will agree
to pay for the window grills.
Once again, my thanks to all those who have given so
generously, and my apologies for being away on business at the date of the