The Friends of St James the Great, Thorley


Report by the Secretary to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 30 April 2017

In last year's report to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) I was pleased to report that the Friends were poised to make a grant to the Parochial Church Council to fully fund the new Church lighting that had then just been installed. In addition to that grant of 21,808, the Friends also spent 1,455 during the year ending 31 December 2016 on repairs to church plant and machinery and 500 on the purchase of new equipment for churchyard maintenance.

This year I am similarly pleased to report that we are about to make a grant of some 13,300 to cover the full cost of the redecoration of the interior of the Church, which has just been completed. Following a discussion at last year's Annual General Meeting of the Friends, and with the agreement of the Parochial Church Council, we turned our attention during the course of the past year to raising funds to improve our Church heating. Although the likely cost of this has yet to be ascertained by the Parochial Church Council, the Friends are already in the position of having approximately 17,000 available for the work, so hopefully we will not have to wait too much longer to see, or rather feel, a much needed improvement in our Church heating.

The Friends' main fundraising event during the past year was, as usual, our annual Festival of Flowers and Music held over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Visitors to the 2016 Festival were able to view flower arrangements on the theme of Show Time. They were also treated to a number of musical moments and group singing throughout the Festival. Together with a Craft Fair on all three days of the Festival, a Mini Fete on the Monday, and a chance for visitors to sit and chat over refreshments, 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 sale of 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 be able to once again 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.

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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