AGM 2003


Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade, Wiltshire, U.K.


Chairman: Hugh Dudley, 4 Pleydells, Cricklade, SWINDON, SN6 6NG

Secretary: Gerry Dudley, 4 Pleydells, Cricklade, SWINDON, SN6 6NG

Treasurer: Tony Barratt, 13 Boundary Close, Stratton, SWINDON, SN2 7TF


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Annual General Meeting


The Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade

Held on Tuesday 11th November 2003 at Brook House, Cricklade

Present: Committee: Bernadette Yarnold; Fr Richard Barton; Tony Doyle; Gerry Dudley; Edmund Lee; Seymour Aitken; Peter Baister; Philippa Hunter; Pat Prendergast; Robin Williams.

Members:  Louise Aitken;  Helen Clift; John Clift; Cathy Howard; Marie Puskas; Margaret Stephenson; David Tetlow; Ray Tetlow; Pamela Woodley.


Robin Bourne; Mary Bourne.


Matter for Discussion

The meeting opened with a short prayer by Fr Richard, followed by a welcome address by Bernadette Yarnold together with a vote of thanks to Louise and Seymour Aitken for allowing the meeting to take place in their dining room.


1.                  The Chairman’s Report:   The Chairman gave her annual report which concluded with words of appreciation for Fr. Richard who was responsible for the creation of The Friends of St Mary’s Church.  A copy of the report is attached.


2.                  The Treasurer’s Report: The Treasurer presented the Financial Report.  There were no questions.  A copy of the report is attached.


3.                  Election of Officers:



Bernadette confirmed that she would be prepared to serve as Chairman for a further year, but stated that she would be standing down next year due to personal circumstances. She further remarked that after four years service, it would be appropriate to give someone else an opportunity.


Proposed:  Fr Richard                Seconded:  Peter Baister


Vice Chairman:

In view of Fr Richard’s departure. The Chairman proposed to leave the office vacant in anticipation that our new Parish Priest may wish to fill the appointment.


All present agreed.



Tony Doyle agreed to stand as Treasurer for a further year.


Proposed Bernadette Yarnold          Seconded: Gerry Dudley



Gerry Dudley agreed to stand as Secretary for a further year.


Proposed Bernadette Yarnold          Seconded: Peter Baister


Retiring Committee Members:

Pat Prendergast stated that he would be standing down after 5 years service on the Committee.  Bernadette proposed a vote of thanks for the service Pat and his family had given to The Friends since its inception.  This was carried by all present.


Robin Williams also wished to stand down after two year’s service to The Friends.  Bernadette conveyed the thanks of all The Friends for the help Robin had given during his time of office.  Robin promised that he would help in any way possible for future events.


Other Committee Members:


The following agreed to continue to stand as Committee members:


Seymour Aitken       Proposed: B Yarnold      Seconded: G Dudley

Peter Baister            Proposed: B Yarnold      Seconded:  P Prendergast

Philippa Hunter        Proposed: B Yarnold      Seconded:  T Doyle

Edmund Lee            Proposed: B Yarnold      Seconded:  G Dudley


New Members to the Committee:

The following agreed to serve as Committee Members to replace those

who were standing down:


Helen Clift                 Proposed: B Yarnold  Seconded: G Dudley

David Tetlow            Proposed: B Yarnold  Seconded: P Baister


In the Newsletter, Edmund Lee had already indicated that he would be standing down as Editor of the bi-annual Newsletter.  Pressure of work made it difficult to continue with this task.  He would, however, continue with ENTRUST matters. Edmund confirmed that this continues to be the case.


Bernadette asked if anyone present would be prepared to take on the task, nobody volunteered.  She stated that she may ask Claire Flanagan if she would agree to meet this undertaking for us.


4.                  Grants

Edmund delivered his report on the progress of application for ENTRUST grants (a copy is attached).


As a result of Edmund’s report, Fr Richard stated that the largest, long term expenditure envisaged is the re-leading of the church tower, which would cost in the region of £20,000.  This is not urgent. but felt that Edmund was asked to submit this project to ENTRUST in lieu of that already submitted, the cost of which is being mostly met by The Friends..


Seymour Aitken informed the meeting that TARMAC would be developing a site across the A419, and he felt that they would certainly be involved in the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, with potential for funding over the next three or four years.  Edmund agreed to observe this situation and pursue the matter in due course.


Other fund raising schemes mentioned were English Heritage, via The Lottery. 


Bernadette reiterated the proposal to approach The Wayland Trust for funding to restore the Churchyard Cross.  She also stated that the Phoenix Trust may be interested in funding the lightning conductor which is included in the quinquennial report. 


Bernadette reminded the meeting that we had purchased a reference book, which contained many organisations with funds to offer historic buildings, and suggested that we pursue some of these channels.


A long-term project would be to look at the gravestones in the church yard.  Some were in a bad state of repair, and for safety reasons might be laid flat.  Fr Richard is to speak to the Architect at their next meeting in relation to this matter.


5.                  Fundraising

Bernadette presented a list of items funded by The Friends since its inception.  A copy is attached.  She went on to ask if those present had any ideas for fundraising events during the coming year.


Gerry Dudley informed the meeting that after discussion  with management at Rackhams in Cirencester, it might be possible to arrange a Fashion Show sometime in the Spring.  The company would provide the clothes and make-up, and The Friends would have to provide the venue and the models. This was well received.  A likely venue would be the Town Hall.  A Cheese & Wine event might accompany the show.

Pam Woodley suggested a Quiz Night.  Peter Baister and David Tetlow appeared to have the expertise and offered to liaise on this project. Again, the proposal found favour and is suitable for staging in the Town Hall


Bernadette suggested that we could also organise the usual Coffee Mornings/lunches, which have proved very lucrative in the past.


6.                  Church Watch

Bernadette opened the discussion with “An open church is a deterrent to crime”.


Our application to ENTRUST  had a proviso that the church should be open to the public at least two days a week.  Helen Lee has been opening the church for a limited time during the week, but we have not fully complied with this stipulation.


In September, we organised a meeting between local church representatives and police with  Nick Tolson who is the national organiser for Church Watch,  and Ian Giles a representative from Ecclesiastical Insurance. Nick did a presentation on various aspects of church safety. He felt that if the church was left open more often, with notices saying that all valuable items had been removed for safe-keeping and that collection boxes etc., were emptied on a daily basis, damage, if any, would be minimal. 


Those present were asked to suggest items on display at the moment, which might prove valuable to thieves. The following were mentioned:



19th Century statue of Our Lady      

Jacobean pulpit              

Jacobean altar table          

Victorian Box pews        

Electric organ


Coffin stools

Restored altar frontal

Two sanctuary chairs

Various pieces of old masonry

Processional cross



Where possible items are to be marked with the Alpha dot  security marking system.  Philippa Hunter has alrelady photographed all valuable items throughout the parish, for which Fr Richard proposed a vote of thanks.


Certain items are already locked away.  The Sacristy is now locked when the church is empty.  It was suggested that larger moveable items of furniture might be chained or bolted , but that would have to be carried out discreetly, so as not to detract from the overall beauty of the item.


Other suggestions were Security lighting, intruder alarms, locking of gates and notices to warn off any potential intruders.  Church Watch advocated also, that the local Community should be informed that the church would be open for prayer, and that we should persevere, even if items go missing.


These matters, although relevant, are policy decisions, and therefore academic at the present time.  Our new Parish Priest must determine the way forward.


7.                  Any Other Business

a)  Bernadette informed the meeting that in September, she had planted crocus bulbs in the grass outside the south wall of the church, as agreed at a previous meeting.  We will have to wait until the Spring to see the result. Philippa Hunter also planted lots of miniature cyclamen in various situations outside the church.  They are evident at the moment, and it was agreed that this would enhance the beauty of the church.


b)  Fr Richard suggested that David Apperley should be awarded a Life Membership of  The Friends St Mary’s Church, for all his hard work over the years.  He also suggested that a Thank You card should be sent from The Friends, thanking him for all his help.


c)  Edmund Lee reported that Dr J Robinson, who had contacted The Friends in relation to a descendant of his who had been a clergyman at St Mary’s, has concluded his research and published his findings in a book.  Anyone wishing to obtain the title of the publication, should contact Edmund.


d) The Heritage Open Days are set for 10th-13th September 2004.  Edmund mentioned that a Workshop will be held in the Spring to help with organising Open Days.  Edmund will follow up this information. It is anticipated that the Historic Churches Cycle Ride will take place on 11th September to coincide with this event.


e)  Peter Baister stated that this year’s Cycle Ride in Wiltshire should produce further revenue for The Friends.  Bernadette encouraged those present to emulate Philippa and Peter and take to their bikes next year for the Historic Churches Cycle Ride.


The meeting closed after a short prayer by Fr Richard.

The next committee meeting will be on January 13th 2004 at 7.30 p.m. at Gerry Dudley’s house, 4 Pleydells, Cricklade.




The Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade

Annual General Meeting


11 November 2003


Chairman's Report


            This year I start my report with an update on plans laid before you at last year's AGM namely the North wall and aisle, the Chapel, the Churchyard Cross and Entrust.


            Those of you who attend St Mary's Church will be aware that the North wall and aisle are currently subject to repair and restoration.  The estimated cost is £11,445 for which we had hoped to obtain funds from Entrust, but more of that later.  You may recall that last November we discussed strengthening the chapel arch with the intention of removing the wooden support.  Regrettably we failed to obtain a faculty for this project. The Historic Churches Committee considered that the wooden structure is in keeping with the history of St Mary's and should be retained.


            It has been established that repair and restoration of the Churchyard Cross or Lantern, a Grade I listed building, is subject to scheduled planning consent.  This has been applied for.  The estimated cost for repair is £793 plus VAT.  Whilst on the subject of the Churchyard, the cemetery grass cutting is now undertaken by Cricklade Town Council.  This started in April 2003.  Fr Richard has appointed a parishioner, Morton Outram, as representative to the Town Council Cemetery Sub Committee. 


            In July, our Architect, Mr Tony Thompson of The Falconer Partnership presented his quinquennial report on St Mary's Church.  The report runs to 28 pages, so I will skip the detail and iterate the summary of matters requiring urgent attention, and those which should be undertaken within the next 2 to 3 years.  Urgently required are additional locks for security, woodworm treatment, repairs to lead roofs, checks and adjustment of rainwater goods, repairs to the Churchyard Cross.  Those for which we have a little more breathing space are exterior stonework repairs and pointing, treatment of ends of purlins and fascias, repair and redecoration of the North chapel and the infilling of interior movement cracks and touch up decoration.  We intend to approach the Waylands Trust for a grant for the repair of the Churchyard Cross. The estimated cost of the remainder is £6,500.  Fr Richard has written to Tony Thompson to confirm that he wishes to proceed with all these repairs.  At the same time he asked for the chapel screen to be repositioned below the arch and its adoption into a doorway wide enough for disabled access into the chapel.  This will require a faculty.  It is anticipated that the chapel will serve as a confessional as necessary.  The report concluded with a message of congratulations on the interest of Priest and Parish, the results achieved in recent times, and a statement that the church is much improved by the work which has been carried out so enthusiastically by all.  Well done Fr Richard, the Parish and Friends.  Thank you one and all.


            I move on now to fundraising.  Even as we finalised our programme for 2003 we lost our nominated fundraiser Sean O'Connell who due to change in work circumstance had to resign from the committee.  His place as Vice Chairman was taken by Fr Richard, but the role of "Fundraising" co-ordinator was left vacant.  Nevertheless we have had a very successful year.  We held a well attended and fruitful coffee morning at the home of Louise and Seymour Aitken last November.  This was followed by a lucrative Book Sale in the church at the end of May.  Our next venture was a splendid Fete with novelty balloon race in June in the grounds of Brook House, and finally we held an Open Day in September to coincide with the Historic Churches Cycle Ride at which event one of our committee members, Philippa Hunter, raised a sum in excess of £1000 to be divided between St Mary's Church, Cricklade, and Glos. Historic Churches Preservation Trust.  Well cycled and thank you, Philippa.  Overall our activities have raised almost £3,000, and at the start of our last committee meeting in September we had £14,329 at our disposal.    


            This leads me on to Entrust and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme. You will recall our optimism at last year's AGM that registration with Entrust stood a reasonable chance of solving some of our funding shortfall.  In order to comply with Entrust's conditions we held an Extraordinary General Meeting on 11 March 2003 to sanction an amendment to our constitution to include "a not for profit" clause.  This was agreed.  We duly registered, but have so far failed to attract funding.  It has to be acknowledged that the goal posts for the Scheme have changed in the last 12 months.  The money available from Entrust for charitable purposes has been reduced by the Chancellor who has taken a much larger proportion for the Treasury.  We shall continue to press our cause, but it has not solved our immediate problems and the sum of £11,445 of our remaining assets has been voted to the Parish to meet the bill for the North wall and aisle.  The Treasurer's Report will tell you more clearly how matters stand. 


            It was an aim of the Friends to raise the profile of St Mary's Church during the year 2003.  Last year I spoke of our Website designed and run by David Tetlow.  It has continued to flourish this year, there has been much interest shown in the site which now includes a Virtual Tour of  the Church and Churchyard.  David was also instrumental in the preparation of the new booklet A History of St Mary's Church, Cricklade, which sells for £1 and is already on its second run.  Thank you, David.  The monthly publication Catholic Life ran an article on St Mary's Church in September.  This should have raised our national profile, even if it disappointed Fr Richard in content and grammar.  Finally, this year Edmund and I have given talks to the Women's Institute, Cricklade, and the English Catholic History Association.  Such talks spread the word and generate steady remuneration.


            You will have read in our recent Newsletter that Edmund is unable to find the time to continue as Editor of the Newsletter.  Thank you Edmund for all the hard work that has gone into the last five publications, and for the articles you contributed to the previous five.   


            What of the future?  In 1998 we set out our programme of maintenance and renewal and our target of £35,000 which we have met.  In the name of St Mary's we have also successfully applied for and obtained several significant grants.  There is now very little that requires our immediate attention, and next year I anticipate that we shall gently replenish our coffers in preparation for the long term maintenance identified in the quinquennial report and of course for those little emergencies which occur from time to time. 


            Most of you will now be aware that Fr Richard is leaving the Parish on 11 January 2004.  The Friends of St Mary's was formed through his energy and initiative back in 1998.  I am delighted that the targets we set in those early days have been met during his tenure as Parish Priest, ie. that we have matched his expectations.  In the last 5 years St Mary's Church has had a notable impact on both Parish and community, .. and a serious overhaul of its fabric.  We, The Friends, have played our part in this regeneration but the driving force has been Fr Richard for which we thank him most sincerely and wish him every success in his next appointment.  


Treasurer's Report for the 12 months ended 31 October 2003

I am pleased to present my financial report for the year from November 2002 to October 2003.


This has been a year of consolidating the finances in readiness for supporting the significant expenditure which the parish has committee to spend on the fabric of the building.


The summary of the income and expenditure for the past twelve months has been as below




Excess of income over expenditure


£   564



The excess has increased the bank balance from £10,418 to £15,075 as at 31 October 2003.


The income in the year of £5,221 comes from the following:


Personal Donations, including tax relief

Parish fete


Fundraising Events

            Christmas Coffee Morning 

            Book Fayre 

            Cycle Ride



Subscriptions from Friends 

Sundry donations    

Bank Interest      










£   947

£     78

£     34


The expenditure for the year of £564 was for the casement windows (£540), Visitors Book (£18) and postage costs (£6)


We have now raised over £35,000 since June 1998, and spent £20,000 on projects to enhance St Mary’s.  The Parish has now engaged contractors on major work on the North Aisle of the Church.  The Friends Committee have agreed to support this expenditure to the value of £11,445 and this will be transferred to Parish Funds in the near future.


Tony Doyle


November 2003



Friends of St Mary’s Church, Cricklade

Annual General Meeting, November 2003.

Report on ENTRUST and Landfill Tax Credit Scheme


At the last AGM in November 2002 I reported on the possibility of FOSMC applying for funding under the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme, administered by a group called ENTRUST.  I outlined how the scheme worked, including the need to register with ENTRUST in order to be able to access funds under the scheme.  It was agreed that the Friends would register and investigate this source.


The Friends has in the last year, put much work into making appropriate changes to its Constitution and working through the forms required by ENTRUST .  We paid them a one-off £100 administration fee.  In April 2003 we successfully registered with ENTRUST, and in May our current projects were being recognised by them as suitable for Landfill Tax funding.  Unfortunately registration proved to be no guarantee that such funding would be forthcoming.


The Landfill Tax regulations mean that funding for projects such as our must come from a HM Customs registered Landfill site operator, with an operating landfill within 10 km of the project site (in our case St Mary’s).    Despite the large number of subcontractors and gravel extractors working in our area, there are only two registered landfill operators available for us to apply to, Hills Waste and Viridor Waste Management.  Both were approached in May 2003 with details of a project to repair the North aisle and Tower roof combined with investigation of the building by archaeologists and historic building surveyors.  In total the proposed project was estimated at £19,000.


I am sorry to report that neither operator has offered us funding under the Landfill Tax scheme.  The Manager of Hills Waste has pointed out that the changes in Landfill Tax regulations have made it uneconomic for them to offer funding.  Viridor Waste Management have passed on responsibility for administration of Landfill Tax Credits to a Swindon based group called Community First.  The director of that group has followed up leads on our behalf, but has not had any interest in funding us via this route.  No other suggested companies meet the requirement to be registered as a Landfill Tax operator.


This being the case, it is my opinion that the ENTRUST route is not worth pursuing further as present.  Our registration with ENTRUST is permanent, and the situation may change in future.  However, at present I would recommend that we re-direct our energies to researching the other grant sources.


Edmund Lee



The Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade

Inaugural Meeting 30 June 1998

Maintenance and renewal

1. January Purchased and fitted covers for kneelers in pews. Cost £390
2. March Produced framed list of incumbents. Cost £30
3. March Purchased fabric and covered kneelers for prie-dieu, communion rail etc. Cost £345.73
4. August Replacement of broken cast iron rain water goods and painting of same, clearing drains etc. Cost £5,007.88
5. April Purchased carpet runners for pews. Cost £276
6. September Completion of the restoration of the Cicely Butt Miller altar frontal. (1- 2 years work). Cost of materials £95
7. October Guards fitted on south windows of Sts. Hubert, Christopher and Nicholas. Cost £384.58 + fitting costs £88.12
8. January Restoration of clock, installation of chiming bell, restoration of Sanctus bell. Cost £4,950
9. February Restoration of railings and refurbishment of gates and archway. New lock and handle for gate, and contribution towards renewal of front boundary wall. Cost £5,384
10. May Purchased fabric and made three new altar runners. Cost £242
11. August New grilles for east window, repaired two panes of glass and renewed two casement windows in the nave. Cost £1,870
12. November Replacement of 3 leaded casement windows. Cost £540
13. December Re-painted wall behind the statue of Our Lady (selfhelp)
14. End 2003 Repair and maintenance of north wall and north aisle roof, plus minor additional repairs. Cost £11,445