Chairman’s Letter

Dear Friends

You are probably wondering what the Friends have been up to lately as we haven’t had a particularly high profile during the year.  As you know we try to combine fundraising with fellowship but this year it has proved difficult to live up to our name, Friends.  We are still here of course and have been active.

As you will be aware the Church has had and is still having financial difficulties and extra demands have been made on our congregation to find ways of raising money. So, we have felt somewhat uncomfortable trying to raise funds of our own without interfering with those efforts.  However, we have found some ways that have not undermined the general fund raising.

The concert we hosted by Pamoja was an amazing event.  St Mary’s really did rock!  We entertained a large audience and raised much needed funds. But the atmosphere was electric and people were talking about it weeks later.  Sadly, we have been unable to repeat the occasion this summer, but it was wonderful while it lasted.  We also hosted a Harvest lunch after the 10am service.  Our Posh Ploughman’s went down well, however the numbers of diners was down from previous years.  These events allow us to keep our profile in people’s minds and provide much need social interaction.

Before Christmas a small group set about making Christmas cards and planning a calendar.  We held a coffee morning with our MU colleagues in late October and were very pleased with the response we had to our efforts.  The calendar was planned by the Friends but Marcus Davitt (son of Brenda) was able to put it together to get it into print.  (Marcus is a designer and IT Whiz kid!)  The outcome was very well received and we are eternally grateful to Brenda and Marcus for their efforts. We were a little disappointed at the turnout for the coffee morning but those who came entered into the spirit of the event enthusiastically.  Your support for these small but very friendly events is vital and we would be pleased to see you on future occasions.  A heads up to later in the year when we will repeat our crafty skills, so please come and buy your Christmas cards from us and perchance you have a craft nature too you might think about joining the card making team.

With Easter on the horizon we set about making and crafting cards and novelties for an Easter sale.  We had a stall at the back of the church for three weeks selling cards, chickens and other items.  No, not real chickens of course but knitted ones with crème eggs in the body!  They were a great hit and thanks to all the knitting ladies who clicked their needles for us.  We also had gifts of homemade fudge, coconut ice and a Simnel cake to be assessed for its weight.  The support we had was excellent and the chickens particularly were a great hit.  We raised in excess of £150 which is very helpful.

There have been no demands on our funds this year and as we are recovering from the purchase of the forward altar it is probably a good thing but we are here to support the Church and it is hoped that in the near future we will be able to do just that.

As you will know the forward altar is in constant use and has been admired by many, in fact, it is definitely a part of our worship at Sunday services.  It enables the celebrant to be close to the congregation and the eucharist to be shared as it was intended.  The company who made it are proudly displaying it on their website.  The photographs are stunning. (Auspicious Furniture) Please take a look and be proud that your efforts are reflected in this dynamic piece of modern furniture.




Our AGM is scheduled for Monday 17th June at 7pm with a speaker and supper.  The speaker is a local lady called Kat Gibson, who has been doing work in some very diverse environments.

She works with the Community Building Trust focussing on the Barnwood and Hucclecote areas.  Her role involves helping local people in the community to meet together around their common interests, considering especially those on the margins of society who need help integrating in the community and pursuing their interests

(From her website.)

Some people who have heard her speak are very enthusiastic about her message.  Please join us if you can. Last year the turnout was very disappointing and we really do need to have your presence and your support and of course we can share a little food and fellowship together too.

There is a vacancy on the committee if anyone would like to join us.  Just saying. No pressure naturally!

Please speak to Maureen or Dilys if you feel inclined to join us. You might really enjoy it!


Dilys M Jones