AGM 2002


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 12th November 2002 at Brook House, Cricklade, Commencing 19:45


Fr. Richard Barton; Bernadette Yarnold; Sean O’Connell; Tony Doyle; Peter Baister; Philippa Hunter; Seymour Aitken; Robin Williams; Edmund Lee;  Pat Prendergast; Gerry Dudley; Jane Henegan;  Margaret Stephenson;  Rene McEvoy; Mary & Robin Bourne, David and Ray Tetlow; Ronnie Gorlin; Pam Woodley; Barbara Phillips; Pat Charlton; Marie Puskus; Tony Thompson.


Janet Williams; Mr P Love of Cheltenham


Matter for Discussion

Actioned by

Bernadette welcomed all present, thanked Louise for allowing us to use her home and thanked Tony Thompson for his help and advice which has enabled many of St Mary’s projects to reach fruition.  She invited Father Richard to start the meeting with a short prayer.


1. Chairman’s Report:  A copy attached.


2. Treasurer’s Report:  A copy attached. 


3. Election of Officers:


Chairman:  Bernadette stood down as Chairman and Father Richard asked for nominations for the office.  Bernadette was prepared to stand again and was nominated by Fr. Richard and seconded by Gerry Dudley.  Bernadette was duly elected as Chairman.


Vice Chairman:  Sean O’Connell was nominated by Bernadette and seconded by Gerry Dudley.  Sean was duly elected as Vice Chairman .


Treasurer:  Tony Doyle was nominated by Bernadette and seconded by Sean O’Connell.  Tony was duly elected as Treasurer.


Secretary:  Gerry Dudley was nominated by Bernadette and seconded by Ray Tetlow.  Gerry was duly elected as Secretary.


Conservation Officer:  Edmund Lee was nominated by Bernadette and seconded by Pam Woodley.  Edmund was duly elected as Conservation Officer.


Elected Committee Members:  Seymour Aitken; Peter Baister; Philippa Hunter; Pat Prendergast and Robin Williams, all agreed to serve for a further term.


Bernadette asked if anyone else present would like to serve on the Committee.  Robin Bourne is prepared to help in any capacity when needed, but did not wish to be a Committee Member.


4. North Chapel and associated works.


a. Window Grilles :  All windows needing the protection of metal grilles have been covered.  There are three windows in the process of restoration and these should be completed by Friday 15th November.  This completes repair


b. Our Lady’s Shrine


(1) Since moving the altar from Our Lady’s corner, it is now apparent that some  painting and tidying up needs to be done.  It is hoped that this will be completed by Christmas.  It was felt that the painting could be done by parishioners.  The work should not prove difficult. Mr Terry Klee has been approached by Bernadette, and is willing to do the work.  Peter Baister offered to help him.


(2) The wooden kneeler which is in front of Our Lady’s statue is in need of stripping and restoring.  Tony Thompson considered that it was a simple job and could be done by a parishioner, saving money on a professional restorer.  This is in hand.


(3) The carpet is to be removed, eliminating the risk of fire from the candle stand. The floor could then be repaired/restored completing the work in that area.


Fr. Richard introduced Tony Thompson, the Architect for St Mary’s,  who gave an outline of the work already undertaken and the remaining work on the North Chapel, the Chapel Arch and the subsidence on the North Aisle.


Tony thanked The Friends for the invitation to attend our AGM, and proceeded to inform those present.


c. North Wall             


The Faculty (permission) for the repair work to the damaged North Wall is due to expire on 8th August 2003.  The work should therefore be completed by then, or we have to repeat the process of gaining a further Faculty.


It was agreed that we should strive to get this outside work completed as soon as possible.  Tony thought that the cost of this should not be too great.  The most expensive item would, he felt,  be the re-plastering inside,  which must be done by an expert recommended by English Heritage.


d. The Chapel Arch.


The plan is that the structure will be supported internally with metal tubes and an injected resin.  This means that the existing wooden support   can be removed, giving a much better look to the entrance to the chapel from the main body of the church.  After this is done, the chapel would need to be re-pointed and decorated.  Tony estimated the cost of this as £8,500. 


The matter will be going before the Trustees on 13th November 2002, and a Faculty meeting in March 2003.


Tony estimated that the total cost of the work on the North Wall and Chapel Arch will be £20,000.  The Friends have currently, £10,000 in their funds,  and so felt that the prospect is not too daunting.


The cost of restoring the ceiling in the chapel, and the possible replacing of the lead on the roof of the chapel is not included in this estimate.


Before leaving, Tony made a suggestion regarding fund raising.  He mentioned that at St Peter’s Grange in Prinknash, a Sponsored Reading of the Bible is planned to raise funds.   The same sponsored event in another parish had raised £22,000.  The members felt it was a suggestion to be considered.


Fr. Richard thanked Tony for his time and contribution to our meeting and Tony left to return to Gloucester.


Fr. Richard continued with his outline of matters to be dealt with.


e. The Stone Cross:


The matter of maintenance was raised.  Fr Richard to ascertain whether it is the responsibility of The Town Council or St Mary’s.  Edmund thought it would be a high profile matter for grants from English Heritage.  It was last repaired in 1928 with public subscription.  Fr. Richard to try to find out who maintains the cross at St Sampson’s as both crosses should be subject to similar responsibility for care.


5.  Grants – Edmund Lee  


Edmund Lee gave a report to those present, outlining actions taken to obtain grants etc. to assist with the work at St Mary’s


The Friends intend to register, at the cost of £100, with Entrust which is the charitable arm of the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.   We shall then proceed to apply for a grant to assist with the North Chapel and North Aisle repairs.  It is hoped that we will have a prompt reply to our application, so that we will know how best to proceed with our fundraising plans. 


The registration draft has gone before Lawrence Payne, our Diocesan Surveyor who raised two points:


1. That we should ensure that it is demonstrated that our financial resources are kept separate from the Diocesan funds.  It should be made clear that we are unable to “tap into” Diocesan funds.


2. We should demonstrate clearly how relevant St Mary’s is to the community in Cricklade.


Edmund is to make the necessary alterations to the proposed registration and application to strengthen our case.


We will continue to take advantage of local charities such as Waylands Trust and the Esme Fairbairn Trust who have been very generous to us in the past.


6.  Fundraising – Sean O’Connell


Sean felt that it was essential to have a plan for the whole year for our fundraising events.  He expressed doubt as to whether single, small events were the right way to proceed. 


The idea of a single Appeal might raise awareness as with The Three Spires Appeal at St Sampson’s. 


Barbara Phillips commented that Wootton Bassett church did this when they were in need of a new church and people held independent events under the umbrella of their single appeal.


Bernadette commented that most of the major structural work on St Mary’s is nearing completion and therefore an appeal of this nature would perhaps be an overkill move.   


The possibility of an appeal which emphasized a particular aspect, e.g. The North Aisle Appeal might be the correct approach, or a phased appeal itemizing projects within each phase.   Much discussion took place and many ideas were put forward.  These ideas will be discussed further at the next meeting of the Committee who will be planning the fund raising year at a meeting in January.  The result of this will be published in the next Friends’ Newsletter. 


The amount of money to be raised,  and the extent of our fundraising activities will depend on the amount of money we receive from our grant applications.


The matter of help with fundraising was raised. There is always a consistent but narrow group of helpers.  Sean stated that we should extend this as much as possible , including younger members of our congregation as well. 


It was suggested that Eileen Joyce should be approached to find out if any of her Youth Group would like to be included in our fundraising plans. 


It was also thought that rather than asking for volunteers, people should be personally approached to do specific tasks when needed.


Sean reported that organizers of The Cricklade Festival have asked if we would like to organize a fundraising event to coincide with their plans. 


Once again Seymour and Louise Aitken have been kind enough to offer their garden for a summer fete during the Festival and the date of 21st June has been agreed. Sean will liaise with the Festival organizers with this information.




Marie Puskas suggested that in order to reduce costs, perhaps a list of smaller items needed e.g. Altar furniture, linen etc, could be made available for parishioners who would like to make a donation of a particular item.  Father Richard to consider this suggestion.


Peter Baister informed the meeting that the Altar Servers raised £240 from the Sponsored Cycle Ride for Wiltshire Historic Churches.  St Mary’s will get half this amount for their funds.


The meeting closed at approximately 9.30 p.m


The next meeting of the Friends’ Committee will be on Tuesday 14th January 2003 at Gerry’s house,  4 Pleydells, Cricklade.












































































































Fr Richard

























Edmund Lee














































Sean O'Connell






Fr Richard



The Friends of St Mary's Church, Cricklade

Annual General Meeting


12 November 2002


Chairman's Report

I start by reminding you of our objectives. They are to care for and maintain St Mary's with a view to eventual and full restoration, and to raise funds to be used exclusively for the benefit of St Mary's using such publicity materials as are deemed appropriate.

Last November I brought before you our plans to fund the overhaul of the 1863 clock, to introduce an automatic winding mechanism and reinstate the chimes. The new chiming bell was blessed at Mass on 2nd December and the project was completed most satisfactorily in February 2002. The restoration and regilding of the external clock face was undertaken at the same time with the benefit of a grant obtained by "The Friends" from the Waylands Trust.

Whilst this was happening, the parish was introducing a new heating system, rebuilding parts of the boundary wall, providing wheelchair access at the gate and refurbishing the archway. Our contribution to this project, agreed at last year's AGM, was to fund the reinstatement of the railings at a cost of £3,529. Shortly after the AGM we received a very generous anonymous donation of £1,000 towards expenditure on the railings from a member of the Cricklade community (not a parishioner) and this enabled "The Friends" to make a further contribution of £1,500 towards the overall costs of the wall.

Two other projects were agreed at last year's AGM. The first was to provide a lead lining to the Baptismal font. This was completed in January. An anonymous donor kindly met the costs. The second project related to the provision of grilles to those of our stained glass windows which were without, the replacement of the grilles to the east window, and a number of running repairs of lead and glass to several casement windows. The latter is additional to the original project and the Committee has agreed to meet the extra cost in order that the overhaul can be completed.

Winding up on matters arising from last year's AGM, the Committee investigated the provision of a badge/lapel pin. The cost was quite high, approx £4 each. The likelihood of the pin being worn was questioned, and the Committee concluded that the expenditure was not warranted.

I now move on to fundraising. In January we minuted that our ambition for the year was in excess of £3k. Sean O'Connell, assisted by Peter Baister and Robin Bourne, had agreed to spearhead the fundraising activities. In June we teamed up with the Cricklade Festival and held a number of activities in St Mary's. The two with which we were most directly associated and which yielded the most significant sums were the Evening Concert in St Mary's followed by a finger buffet, at the Red Lion, and the mini fete. Particular thanks go to Sean for sterling work in bringing these events to fruition.

In September we held an Open Day to coincide with National Heritage Weekend and the Wiltshire Historic Churches Great Cycle Ride. The theme of National Heritage Weekend was Youth. Edmund Lee arranged for a group of young archaeologists from Swindon to join us. Under the direction of their team leader Katie Whitaker the youngsters checked the condition and inscriptions of the gravestones in our cemetery, a task not undertaken since 1976, and much needed for reasons which I shall come to shortly. Once again participants in the Great Cycle Ride flocked to St Mary's but most were keen to visit as many churches as possible and did not linger. Peter Baister organises our own parish participation in the event and we always benefit from the monies raised. Last year's event raised £95.38 for "Friends".

So far this year our fundraising efforts have realised just under £2k. We have some way to go reach our £3k target and I commend you to the Coffee Morning this coming Saturday here at Brook House. Two years ago this was a well supported and lucrative event - please encourage as many of your friends as possible to attend and give us your support.

I mentioned earlier the need to examine the state of the gravestones, this is because David Apperley who has cared for the cemetery since 1984 will be leaving us soon and it has become necessary to make alternative arrangements. From October, the maintenance of the cemetery will be undertaken by Cricklade Town Council. It is anticipated that some work may be required to support and/or preserve some of the stones, not least the two listed chest tombs. It is the intention of "The Friends" to apply for a grant from the Waylands Trust to meet these repairs when they are known.

You will have read in the last Newsletter that we now have our own website. This is the initiative of David Tetlow and has been heaped with praise and awards from Church and genealogy websites. Congratulations David and thank you for extending our profile.

In June, the 19th century organ was removed freeing up the North chapel after a period of 105 years. The Parish Pastoral Committee and "The Friends" committee have exchanged thoughts on the way ahead for the chapel once the essential maintenance has been agreed by all the appropriate interested bodies, and completed. Fr Richard will address the meeting on this topic, so I will say no more except to say how delighted we are to have with us Mr Tony Thompson our Architect who will, I hope, add his own comments to those of Fr Richard.

Whatever the final decision for the restoration of the chapel we know it will cost a substantial sum of money. To this end we shall be pursuing a three pronged initiative. Firstly, we intend to follow David Tetlow's example and raise our profile. To do this we are working on an article for publication in Catholic Life, a national, monthly magazine. Later, we shall endeavour to persuade other publications e.g. Cotswold Life to take an interest in our church. Secondly, we shall continue to raise funds at local level with Sean spearheading our efforts. He is going to talk about this later. Thirdly, we shall be pursuing grants from English Heritage, The Waylands Trust and Entrust. This last body is the charitable arm of landfill companies who offer a measure of financial support to projects in those communities which suffer landfill in close proximity to their homes. Edmund will be telling you more about this.

Finally, without your help little of what has been achieved would have got past the drawing board, and our ambitions will only be realised with your continued support. Please, please, encourage membership of "The Friends". By belonging - your commitment is strengthened, and our coffers enhanced!


Treasurer's Report as at 31 October 2002

I am pleased to submit my report to The Friends of St Mary’s for the twelve months to 31 October 2002.


During the past 12 months significant progress has been made in improving the fabric of the Church, much of which would not have been possible from general parish funds.  It has been through the efforts of The Friends that the work has been progressed at a faster rate.


The movement on our bank balance over the past 12 months is summarized as below:


Opening Balance                                                 £18,664


Income from all sources                                         £6,885


Expenditure                                                           £15,101


Closing Balance at Bank                                 £10,418              as at 31 October 2002



The income over the past year has been derived from the following


Donations, including Gift Aided donations and grants         

Fundraising, including the Music Evening and Mini-Fete

Subscriptions by Friends, collections etc.



£   834





Expenditure over the past year has been on the following


Restoration of Church Clock dial

Restoration of Church Clock mechanism 

Transfer to Parish Funds for contributions

- To cost of new railings supported by Friends   

- To a proportion of costs of new wall supported by Friends

- To a proportion of costs of new wall provided by grants

Work on window grilles                                            

Window repairs                                                         

Incidental expenses for new Altar linens

£   770






£   384


£   147




By far the largest part of the costs incurred during the past year for the rebuilding of the main wall on to the High Street, and on the installation of heating in the church, were met by General Parish Funds.


The Friends of St Mary’s is part of a registered charity, The Clifton Catholic Diocesan Trustees (“CCDTR”).  This enables us to reclaim tax on any contributions that have been correctly identified as Gift Aid donations by a UK taxpayer.  Please bear this in mind when making any donation, including your Friends’ subscription.


Tony Doyle


9 November 2002