AGM 2004


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 9th November 2004 at Brook House, Cricklade


Fr Patrick Eastman, Louise Aitken, Seymour Aitken, Peter Baister, Pat Charlton, Helen Clift, Eddie Condon, Tony Doyle, Gerry Dudley, Philippa Hunter, Edmund Lee, Helen Lee, Rene McEvoy, Marie Puskas, Bernadette Yarnold


1. Opening Remarks: Bernadette welcomed all those present, thanked Louise and Seymour for the use of their dining room for the purpose of the meeting, and invited Fr Patrick to open the meeting with a prayer. 

2. Apologies for absence: Fr Richard Barton, Robin and Mary Bourne, John Clift , David and Ray Tetlow, Margaret Stephenson, Pam Woodley, Robin & Janet Williams

3. Chairman's Report: Bernadette gave her report (copy attached).

4. Treasurer's Report: Tony Doyle delivered his report (copy attached), and informed the meeting that due to pressure of work, he would not be standing for Treasurer for the coming year. Bernadette thanked Tony for all the work he had done since the inception of The Friends and wished him good luck with his future ventures. Tony said even though he was resigning his position on the Committee, he wished to remain a Friend of St Mary's. 

5. Election Of Officers: 
Chairman: Bernadette informed those present that it had beat her intention (stated at last year's 
AGM) to resign her position as Chairman, due to increasing personal responsibilities. However, because no nomination has been put forward, and a suitable replacement had not yet been identified, she would be prepared to continue on an interim basis until such time as a replacement can be found 
Nominated -Philippa Hunter. Seconded- Gerry Dudley -carried unanimously. 
Vice Chairman: Bernadette informed the meeting that she had persuaded Fr Patrick to 
consent to becoming Vice Chairman. Fr Patrick confIrmed his willingness to undertake this task. 
Nominated -Bernadette Yarnold. Seconded -Helen Clift.- carried unanimously. 
Treasurer: Due to Tony Doyle's resignation as Treasurer, Bernadette had sought a replacement and has secured the services of Robin Bourne, who was unable to attend the meeting, but supplied written confirmation that he was prepared to act as Treasurer. 
Nominated -Bernadette Yarnold .Seconded -Tony Doyle -carried unanimously. 

Secretary: Gerry consented to continue in her roll as Secretary . 
Nominated -Bernadette Yarnold. Seconded -Peter Baister -carried unanimously. 

Other members consented to serve for a further year, and were accepted by those present. 
Seymour Aitken, Peter Baister, Helen Clift, Philippa Hunter, Edmund Lee, David Tetlow. 
Eddie Condon, a new parishioner was asked and consented to serve on the Committee, with the agreement of all present. 
Bernadette asked if anyone else present wished to be elected to the Committee and all declined. 

6. Membership: Those present were asked to try to encourage other members of the parish to become 
Friends of St Mary's. The finance gained from this source is a valuable contribution to our funds, be it the minimum 5 fee or in some cases considerably more. Last year, membership contributions amounted to 600. 

It was suggested that as a membership rally, a short note stating the aims of The Friends, together with an attached membership form, should be included in one of our weekly Sunday bulletins. This was agreed and plans will be made to re-design the membership Form. It was also felt that all members should be given an up to date copy of the Constitution, which states the aims and aspirations of The Friends. 

Fr Patrick suggested that details about St Mary's and The Friends should be circulated through The Historic Churches Association, with the hope that it will raise the profile in the wider community.

Gerry Dudley informed the meeting that in September, a party of top infants and first year junior school children had asked to be allowed to see around St Mary's and the cemetery . Gerry allowed this and gave the children a short talk on some of the history of St Mary's. They enjoyed the talk and apparently used quite a bit of the information gained in the course of their lessons.

Eddie Condon asked why, in an effort to widen the profile of St Mary's, this sort of activity could not be offered to some of the Catholic Schools in Swindon, who might not be aware of the existence of St Mary's. This was thought a good idea to be developed. 

Seymour Aitken suggested that if we were to attract the wider world, it might be an idea to contact the Archbishop of Bordeaux, who was among the small group of clergy who presented the key to St Mary's to Fr Eamon McGlinchey in 1983. Edmund Lee agreed to look further into this matter.

7. Future Projects: Bernadette reminded those present that our most immediate project is the restoration of the Churchyard Cross. Matters are in hand for this work.

Our second project is to move the Screen on the North aisle of the church to realign it with the Victorian arch, and at the same time provide disabled access to the Chapel of St Augustine. 

A further project, is the re-pointing of the bell tower. This was raised in the Quinquenniel Report, and is essential for technical as well as aesthetic reasons. The problem arises because some time in the recent past, the tower was re-pointed with the wrong type of mortar which now has to be removed and replaced with the correct material. We hope to be supported by grants for this project, but for all these projects, we will need to show commitment by fundraising. 

Due to the removal of various conifers in the cemetery, we are faced with a rather unkempt, open and vulnerable boundary. It was proposed that, providing the Council have no objection, a project to tidy up the boundaries might be undertaken on a voluntary basis. It was suggested that a working party might be mustered and the edges of the cemetery be tidied up. Shrubs might then be planted to soften the aspect and eventually provide a variety of foliage to be used for flower arranging purposes. This was generally accepted and plans will be made at the next committee meeting. Edmund Lee informed the meeting that the Town Council had given verbal consent to this, But that it should be put in writing.

Louise Aitken suggested that advice from the Gardening Club might be useful, and Helen Lee thought it might be a good idea to get the Jubilee Project at Purton involved. Philippa Hunter suggested a garden centre of her acquaintance where we might obtain shrubs at cost price which might save a considerable amount of money.

Drawing on the Quinquennial Report. Bernadette informed the meeting that annual inspection of the building was recommended in order to pre-empt any major work that is necessary. Bernadette stated that Edmund Lee has agreed to carry out the inspection, and it was suggested that he might co-opt Morton Outram to assist him. Edmund requested a copy of the Quinquenniel report as a basis for this inspection.

8. Fundraising: Bernadette asked if there were any suggestions and ideas for fundraising activities for the coming year. The following were mentioned: 
a. A themed lunch (similar to the Italian Evening and Italian Lunch, that we have Organised in the past). 
b. A Fete. 
c. Coffee mornings 

d. Open Days 
e. A Flower Festival- Jean Drumm might help us again. 
Eddie Condon's wife, Linda, has a connection with Wroughton Floral Art Society and might be able to help. 
A possible theme for the Flower Festival would be The Blessed Virgin Mary and related flowers, icons etc. 
All these ideas will be discussed further at the next Committee meeting. 

9. Any Other Business: Bernadette went around the table to ask for any comments. Gerry Dudley 
mentioned the logs which were in the undergrowth at the edge of the graveyard. These had been left after the conifers had been removed. Helen and Edmund, together with Pat Charlton stated that they had observed them being removed after weekday Mass. Gerry Dudley will enquire at the Council office. 
I made enquiries and found that the Council workmen had removed these because they were getting in the way of the cemetery maintenance. 

The matter of the wooden fence posts erected by our neighbour at Lamas House was raised. Fr Patrick explained that after Manus Moran had written to the owner who had erected this fencing without permission. He received a less than co-operative reply. Manus had then made enquiries at The Clifton Diocese offices and Laurence Payne had written to the Bristol Diocesan office since they are the owners of the land, to inform them of this matter. So far, the Bristol Diocese has not replied with any details of future action. Fr Patrick agreed to write to the Diocese of Bristol to enquire whether the Diocese plans to pursue the matter. 

Helen Lee suggested that postcards of St Mary's might be sold to raise money. Further enquiries are to be made. 

The next Committee meeting will be held on Tuesday, 18th January. Venue and time to be arranged. 



The Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade

Annual General Meeting


9 November 2004


Chairman's Report


At the start of 2004 we witnessed the departure of our founder Fr Richard Barton. The Friends of St Mary's marked the occasion with the presentation of a beautiful painting of St Mary's to serve as a memento. 

Last year I opened my report with an update on plans laid before you at the AGM in 2002. It seemed to work well and I intended to do the same this year but I must first tidy up a few loose ends. The Alpha Dot security marking of St Mary's property was carried out in February and a list deposited with the local police. We did not succeed in finding an editor for the Newsletter to replace Edmund. Gerry now coordinates receipt of articles for inclusion and Claire Flannagan uses her considerable editing skills to produce the Newsletter.

Repairs to the North wall and aisle of the church were in progress at the time of our meeting last November. They were completed in time for Christmas and The Friends met the bill of 11,445. 

Our next project was, and still is, the repair of the Churchyard Cross which is both a Scheduled Ancient Monument and a Grade I listed building. Last year I gave an estimated cost of 793 plus VAT .Now that the specifications have been drawn up for presentation to English Heritage, the projected costs have risen to approximately 2,500 including the architect's fees. We have already secured two grants towards our project. The Waylands Estate has provided a grant of 750, and Cricklade Town Council has offered 200. We await agreement to proceed from English Heritage. 

The third project followed on from the repairs to the North aisle and involved the chapel screen. As stated in last year's report, the architect had been asked to draw up plans to reposition the chapel screen below the arch and its adoption into a doorway wide enough for disabled access into the chapel. This project was never started for want of the necessary faculty which we are now in the process of obtaining. The movement of the screen will necessitate minor work for the retention of the confessional facility in the chapel. This project has not been costed, and at this stage, the Friends are only committed to obtaining the faculty for its execution. The proposal should go before the Historic Churches Committee in March 2005. 

From projects I move to fundraising, for without funds little would be accomplished. We started the year in poor shape having spent 11,000+ on the North wall and aisle. I am happy to report that we have enjoyed a successful year and finish with a much healthier balance, details will follow in the Treasurer's Report. We started with an Open Day at the end of May which coincided with Fr Patrick 
Eastman' s arrival. It was not the most auspicious of days, it was dull and wet. Thankfully the vagaries of our climate did not deter folks from attending.


In June, we held a Ladies Pamper Evening in the Town Hall Annexe. Unfortunately, we were in close competition with a popular WI event, so attendance was not as high as anticipated. However, we had a most enjoyable evening and made a pleasing profit for our efforts. 

Our second Open Day was in September and formed part of the Heritage Open Day Scheme. It also coincided with the Wiltshire Historic Churches Cycle Ride. Both events brought in much needed remuneration. Aiming at the market in genealogy, David Tetlow and I have been transcribing the Parish Registers. David skilfully produced a series of booklets and these sold well. Our work is not completed, but we hope to finish during 2005. Committee members Philippa Hunter and Peter Baister represented us on the cycle ride and have brought in a tidy sum in excess of 1,000. Peter was joined by Sean O'Connell a former Vice Chairman and his young daughter Sophie who deserves a special mention for the number of miles she cycled on her young legs. 

Our Halloween Quiz Night in Cricklade Town Hall which was in the hands of the male contingent of our committee was a great success, plenty of atmosphere and a good cross mix of parishioners and townsfolk. Well done, the men. We ladies wish you had acquired culinary skills too! 

Coming up on the 27th November in Brook House from 10 - 12 noon is our Coffee Morning. Cakes, preserves, good quality fancy goods will be on sale, and there will be our usual generous raffle. Please support this function which provides a pleasant opportunity to chat and renew acquaintances in comfortable surroundings. Goods for the coffee morning will be most gratefully received.

In summary, with the help of the Parish, we have broken the back of the maintenance work on St Mary's. Looking ahead, we need to continue our fundraising activities in order to meet contingencies inevitable with a church of this age. To do this we need not only an active committee, but the support of our members and fellow parishioners. I should like to take this opportunity to thank you for your continuing support and to ask you all to do all you can to encourage new membership. 

Finally, it seems that I must end my report yet again on a note of farewell. Our Treasurer, Tony Doyle who has served on the committee since the inception of The Friends in 1998 has to stand down due to his business commitments. Thank you Tony for keeping us on the straight and narrow these past 6 years and for all your contributions to our success. We wish you well in your developing ventures. 


Treasurer's Report for the 12 months ended 31 October 2004

I am pleased to present my Financial Report for the year from November 2003 to October 2004.

The 2004 year has been a year of transition in the parish and this has been reflected in the accounts which show satisfactory fundraising, high expenditure at the end of 2003, but nothing since then. 

The summary of the income and expenditure has been as below 






The excess of Expenditure over Income has reduced the balance at bank from 15,075 to 8,129 as at 31 October 2004 .

The income of 4,547 came from:


Waylands Trust

Personal Donations

Parish fete


Fundraising Events

            May Open Day

            Pamper Evening

            Bike Ride

            Sep Open Day

            Quiz Night*



Subscriptions from Friends 

St Mary's Collection Plate    

Bank Interest      
















(* - there is a further amount to account for on the Quiz night which will add at least 200, depending upon costs)

The expenditure for the year was 11,445 contribution from the Friends to the work on the North Aisle. This was agreed upon at the AGM last year. 

The only other expenditure has been 35 of administration costs. 


It is possible that we may be able to obtain partial VAT relief on the repair work that has been undertaken at St Mary's in recent years. This is under a grant scheme that was introduced by the government last year.

Finally, I would like to thank all the Friends of St Mary's for their generosity in the past year and in the previous five years. Although I am obliged by the pressures of work and family to stand down from my position as Treasurer, it will be my pleasure to continue to count myself as a Friend of St Mary's Church, Cricklade.


Tony Doyle


November 2004