AGM & Projects Update

Annual General Meeting 21st November 2016
After a worrying few weeks during which there were fears the group might have to fold because of our difficulty in finding people to fill some key posts on our committee, we were very grateful that following our recent appeal for help we have now been able to fill all three vacant positions. At our Annual General Meeting on 21st November members of the Friends were therefore delighted to confirm the election of our three new committee members: Donna Hadsley-Chaplin as Honorary Treasurer, David McMullen as Honorary Secretary and Chris Kirkman as Administrator.

Chairman of The Friends, John May, opened the meeting by thanking members for their continued support and the organisers of our various fundraising events for all their hard work. He also thanked members of The Breakfast Club organised by JK May Family Funeral Service for making some generous donations to the Friends. He gave special thanks to Gill Laver for stepping into the role of Administrator and doing such a sterling job and also thanked the departing Treasurer Richard Taylor and Secretary Sara Robinson, retiring after their five year service, for their dedication and hard work. He noted our good fortune in the offers of help received following our recent appeal in the press for volunteers to fill their posts. Finally he announced a slightly slimmed down programme of fundraising events for 2017 to include a summer concert and two Christmas concerts.

Retiring Treasurer, Richard Taylor, presented the charity’s accounts which showed a surplus of £13,634 for the financial year to 30th June 2016, this figure comprising income from members’ subscriptions, receipts from fundraising events, other donations and £3,274 derived from a backdated claim for Gift Aid. This brings the total raised by The Friends since their formation to nearly £65,000 of which nearly £56,000 has been spent or committed to the maintenance of this fine old building. The number of members now stands at around 200.

Friends’ funded projects update
Since our last AGM, funds from The Friends have been used to pay for two major projects: the installation of ‘low energy’ and event lighting – completed October 2015 at a cost of £3654 and the construction of a new tower access ladder and safety improvements – completed November 2015 at a cost of £13,223. In addition we have been able to pledge £20,000 towards the cost of the internal redecoration of the church. This work which is expected to cost over £30,000 is planned to start around Easter next year after a delayed start due to contractor delays and compounded by regulations preventing the disturbance of the church bats during their hibernation period!