Friends of St Peter's
Like many churches, St Peter’s has a thriving Friends organisation which is a registered charity. Membership is open to all who wish to associate themselves with our work and worship, or who wish to help maintain the ancient and beautiful fabric of our church.
What we do
- provide an annual calendar of social and cultural events for the people of St Peter’s parish and beyond
- raise funds for the benefit of St Peter’s.
The work of the Friends is normally associated with one or a small number of projects at any one time, starting with the ‘God’s Acre’ project which is a churchyard improvement initiative.
The appeal of the Friends is that it is both for those who attend church as well as those who do not but who believe that the presence of St Peter’s is of importance and value to the local community. This appeal already finds response from far and wide.
We organise a variety of social and cultural fund-raising events for our members. The profit from these, together with the subscription and donations, will be used to support a variety of projects that benefit St Peter's and its beneficiaries.
The programme of events organised for the Friends runs from September to July each year and is publicised in various ways including through a Friends Newsletter. The events include social and cultural (e.g. dramatic, artistic, musical) ones, as well as ones with worship content or moments.
The Friends is managed by a small committee under the leadership of the present Chairman, Robin Farrar. Membership is open to all. The annual Friends membership subscription is modest: currently just £10 for an individual and £20 for a family. We have held the subscription at this level for several years now but may need to increase it a little in the near future. Application forms for Friends membership are available in St Peter’s Church or from one of the committee members.
Why join us?
You will be joining a wide group of people who support St Peter’s and the local community, through making and building friendship networks, helping to make events arranged for the local community successful, voluntary and community work, prayer and fund raising.
The Friends will
- arrange an annual programme of social and cultural events principally for the Friends;
- inform you of events arranged for the Friends and other events at St Peter’s to which Friends are invited;
- arrange some events exclusively for Friends and where some events are also open to others and ticketed, Friends and family members will be able to purchase tickets at a reduced price;
- arrange at least one welcome event per year, normally through invitation to such an event at the Vicarage;
- provide you with a twice yearly Newsletter to keep you in touch and updated (we apologise for currently not having the resources to produce the Newsletter);
- provide refreshments for events held at St Peter’s;
- contribute funds for projects chosen by the Friends and St Peter’s; and
- inform you at least once per year about the use of funds raised by the Friends and progress with projects supported by the Friends.
Forthcoming events - 2016/2017
The next event is the Winter Fair which will be held on Saturday 26th November 2016.
The Summer Fair will be on Saturday 17th June 2017.
Details of further events for the 2016/2017 year will be available in church and circulated to Friends in due course. We aim to hold five or six events each year.
- 'A Mediaeval and Modern Christmas’ Concert with mulled wine and mince pies.
- Friends Candlemas Festal Evensong - Sunday 31st January 2016 with drinks and nibbles.
- Wine Tasting Event by Flagship wines.
- An Illustrated Talk by Clr. Annie Brewster JP.
- St Peter's Apple Day Fair, held in St Peter's churchyard - family fun, apple juicing, toffee apples, games,BBQ, pony rides, cake and pie stall and other stalls.
- St Peter's annual Summer Fair, held in St Peter's churchyard - family fun, BBQ, tombola, games, pony rides, tower tours, plants, Nearly New stall, books, toys, lots of stalls, brass band, rock music, choir and much more.
- Lecture by Dr Peter Burley from the Battlefields Trust, entitled 'Commemoration of the Wars of the Roses at St Peter's'.
- Quiz Night with Fish and Chip Supper.
Achievements so far
The Friends was launched in September 2010. We now have approximately 150 members and the numbers are increasing steadily year on year. By January 2014 the Friends had raised over £25,000 for St Peter's after costs of running events were deducted. Every penny of this money goes to St Peter's: all of the work associated with the Friends is undertaken voluntarily. So far the Friends has:
- organised and successfully run about six events per year including the annual St Peter's Fair at the request of the Vicar
- contributed to the cost of the redesign of the Hope Garden (which St Peter's decided to commemorate by installing a bench dedicated to the Friends)
- contributed to the cost of brand new churchyard interpretation and church signage which was installed in the Autumn of 2012
- contributed £12,000 to the cost of a public memorial sculpture for the Hope Garden. This sculpture was installed in the Autumn of 2013 and will carry leaves with the names of those whose ashes are buried in the garden inscribed upon them.
In 2015 the Friends of St Peter's ran a competition to design some Christmas cards. These Christmas cards and the Friends' tea towels are now on sale by the South door. Please put payment into the envelope provided and post into the donation box. They will also be sold on the Friends' stall at the Choral Winter Fair on Saturday 26th November. The cards are based on the competition-winning designs by Margaret Blake and Robin Blake and are available in packs of six for £1.50 per pack. Each pack contains both designs. The tea towls are £2 or 3 for £5. All proceeds will go towards the Friends of St Peter's.