Who are the Friends of All Saints Church?

The Formation of the Friends:
In the early 1990s, a number of people in the village were becoming increasingly concerned about the problems facing the PCC (Parochial Church Council) with regard to the maintenance of the structure of All Saints’ Church.  So, in 1994, it was decided to form a body that would work alongside the PCC and raise funds that would be specifically dedicated to the maintenance and restoration of the fabric of the church.  This body would include non-churchgoers, who were primarily interested in maintaining this historic building

The outcome was the setting up of a Registered Charity (No. 1041348) with the following objectives:

“To maintain, repair, restore, preserve, improve, beautify and reconstruct for the benefit of the public the fabric of the Church of All Saints, Swanton Morley, its monuments, fixtures, fittings, furniture, stained glass, ornaments and other chattels and its churchyard.”

The first officials were:
Chairman         Alfred Hyde                  Treasurer       Julian (Rusty) Ironside
Secretary         Mrs J.Canham              Publicity         Ted Peachment

How do the Friends raise funds?
Funds are raised in three main ways
·By annual subscriptions from members
·By fund-raising events
·By applications for grants from relevant bodies

Policy on fund raising events
On fundraising, it is the policy of the Friends

(i) to organise one major fundraising event each year which is intended to attract funds from outside the village as well as from the village.

In recent years these have included- an Auction of Promises, concerts by Gresham’s School Choir and Jazz Group, the Barton Turf Singers, a Young Musicians Concert as part of the Dereham Festival, a Concert of American Music by the Mid Norfolk Singers including a cantata that was specially commissioned by the Friends to celebrate the bicentenary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth. The Mid Norfolk Singers concert was part of the Lincoln Festival, a major event arranged to publicise the Lincoln connection with Swanton Morley.

(ii) to arrange other events which will primarily be of interest to people in the village. Two Quiz Nights are run each year, and other recent events have been:

A Pudding Tasting Evening in March 2007
A Soups and Starters Evening in March 2008

Early Projects
The first works that were completed from this fund-raising were repairs and cleaning of the bell tower in 1998, and repairs to the porch drainage pipes.  To celebrate the Millennium the Friends raised funds to refurbish the ringing chamber, repair the existing bells and add a new bell. The total raised and spent on all these projects was £25,000

In 2004, some £35,000 was spent on repairing the roof of the chancel. This was partially covered by grants from English Heritage and the Norfolk Churches Trust, but the Friends made a contribution of £18,000.

For a list of works  carried out at All Saints, some of which Friends fundraised for, see Past Projects and Current Projects

Page Updated: 26/07/10
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