Committee Members – 2017-18
Mike Gibbons – Chairman , Alison Bean – Treasurer, – Secretary, David Baker, Evelyn Baker, Jean Jeavons, Kate Latham and Sue Ward. Also elected is an Events Helpers Group of five members.
The Friends of St Mary’s was started to raise money to support the church building. The Friends organisation is simply there to keep the fabric of the church in the best possible condition for this and future generations of villagers so it raises money to be spent on the renovation and restoration.
Over the twenty years since the Friends was started, the five-yearly architect inspections have led to most of the building stonework being repointed; many of the windows renewed and all of them restored; various other external items including part of the church wall and much redecoration internally. That has cost over £100,000, all raised by villagers.
The Friends fundraising comes from four principal sources – the annual Bletsoe Fete which has grown during this period from being a little church fete to a major event that benefits both the church and the Village Hall; the annual Plant Sale which is big North Bedfordshire attraction on the last Sunday in April every year; donations and covenants from villagers and, finally, events.
Our events have often featured music and food – jazz and sausages; choirs and canapes; village concerts; safari suppers; victorian breakfasts; Roman & Tudor banquets plus The Bletsoe Village Quiz Night and many other events. The Friends are very grateful for the many friends who support the organisation!
In the last five years, the Friends has repaired the cracked West End wall, sunken floors in the Nave & St John Chapel and repairs & redecoration to the Nave & Vestry. Now the work is underway to restore the East End window and the old chancel which will cost at least £250,00. Grants from various bodies and a fund raising appeal to villagers and friends is now underway.
So there’s never a chance to rest on your laurels and we’re very grateful to all who help & support the work of the Friends. Thank you!
As part of the Friends of St Mary’s Church Committee we try to encourage community involvement. As Christmas approaches we would like to tell you about one of this year’s events.
We are inviting you to take part in an Advent Windows Display.
It is intended very much as a community fun event, no cost to take part and no competition involved. Adults and children alike can be involved.
Ideally we would like 23 windows which would be revealed 1 each evening until the Christmas Carol service which takes place at St Mary’s on Sunday December 23rd. The final window would be a Nativity scene at the church.
The windows can be designed and constructed from any media, lights, mobiles, cut outs etc. They can be as simple or technical as your artistic tendencies can take you. They can be internal displays or external displays as long as they involve decorating your window.
A list of windows and their reveal dates will be posted on the notice board so you can admire each one.
We would ask that windows remain a surprise as far as possible before the designated big reveal evening. We would like to keep a photographic record for posterity of all the windows.
On the notice board in the village hall we have pinned up a selection of ideas to get your creative juices flowing. For more ideas try Pinterest and images of Advent windows on the internet.
We look forward to seeing some exciting and inventive designs this Advent and encourage everyone to join us for the Carol Service for the final reveal. If you are interested in taking part please contact me Jane Ward. Email address is below.
Please let me know by November 6th if you are interested in designing a window.
Jane Ward 07572754438 email: firstname.lastname@example.org