Who are the Friends of St Mary’s?
The cost of preserving, maintaining and improving Wendover’s oldest and most historic building depends entirely on members of the church and the wider local community.
Contrary to popular belief, the Church Commissioners do not make any contribution to the upkeep of churches; nor is routine maintenance eligible for grant aid.
The Friends of St Mary’s, a registered charity, was formed in 1994 to safeguard this important and valuable part of Wendover’s heritage. Whilst the members of St Mary’s successfully finance the church’s ministry, St. Mary’s needs the support of local residents and businesses and all those with Wendover connections who cherish this building to assist in taking responsibility for its upkeep.
How are the funds used?
Following the detailed inspection of the church in 2005, which we are required to carry out every five years, our architects identified an urgent need to repair the stonework around the windows and tower – with funds provided by the Friends, this essential work was completed in December 2007 at a cost in excess of £75,000. More recently the Friends of St Mary’s made significant contributions to the refurbishment work undertaken in the church during 2011. Our next challenge is to replace the nave roof.
How can I help?
By becoming a Friend of St Mary’s you can help in various ways.
Firstly, by joining as a contributing member. In addition you may wish to join the Committee and contribute your ideas and energy to our ongoing fund-raising campaigns. Or you might like to join an occasional working party to carry out some of the smaller or easier tasks that do not require professional contractors – such as painting or minor repairs to the fabric.
If you do not wish to be actively involved, you can be a valued member of the Friends by making an annual contribution to the sum we need to raise each year to maintain the building. Annual subscriptions are normally made by banker’s standing order, on the understanding that you are free to amend or cancel this at any time. If you pay income tax, the Friends would be grateful if you would consider making your regular annual subscription under the Gift Aid Scheme – this allows the Friends to claim the standard rate of income tax from HM Revenue and Customs at no extra cost to you.
How can I join?
The Friends of St Mary’s is not confined to churchgoers. Many of our members belong to other denominations while others do not go to church at all. What unites the Friends is affection for our parish church, a concern that it should remain an important part of village life and a determination that future generations will continue to derive pleasure and solace from its continuing presence.
The Friends are delighted to welcome individual, family and corporate members. The forms you will need to join are available from the Parish Office.