A view of Stoke Gabriel Creek

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The Friends of Stoke Gabriel Church             Newsletter June 2015

We have recently held our 19th Annual General Meeting and I should like to bring you up to date with our activities during the past year and our plans for the next few months.

I was very saddened to announce at the AGM that John Webber had decided that the time has come for him to resign as a Trustee of the Friends Charity. John was instrumental in setting up the Friends some 20 years ago and has been actively involved both as a Trustee and Committee Member since then. His wise guidance, enthusiasm and hard work have helped the Friends to grow and prosper through the years and I am very pleased that he has agreed to continue to as a Committee Member for a while. We approached the Rev Gareth Evans to ask if he would be willing to become a Trustee for us and I am delighted to announce that he has agreed and also Lady Pippa Williams has also kindly consented to become a Trustee to bring the required number to three including myself.                                                      

At the AGM our Treasurer Anthony Prowse announced that our finances are in good shape and after contributing over £40,000 for the new boiler and heating system in the church our reserves remain at a healthy level. This enabled us to meet the costs of repairing the collapsed retaining wall in the churchyard and this is an item that I am sure we will see repeated in future years as other sections of wall are looking frail.                                       

We thank you all for helping update the Gift Aid records and Anthony will soon be in a position to send HMRC a sizeable bill. There is something very satisfying in receiving money from HMRC rather than sending it to them! Membership has been growing steadily over the past year and currently stands at about 150 and makes our goal of reaching 200 members more attainable.                                                                                                  

Now some dates for your diaries. On Saturday 4th July we will be running the bar at Steve Banks concert in the Village Hall so come along, enjoy the music and have a drink or two to help our funds grow. On Wednesday 22nd July Pam and Neil Millward have kindly invited us to hold our usual Summer Evening Drinks in their magnificent garden. This is an opportunity not to be missed so make a note of the date now. More details will be sent out nearer the time. The end of July is the start of Carnival Week in the village and on Wednesday 29th July we will have a table at the Mini Market selling candles and room fragrances which was very successful last year. Jane Tarr will be arranging our very popular Wine & Wisdom Evening for Saturday 7th November. This event is always oversubscribed so book your tickets early. Finally on Friday 4th December we will be inviting all to our now traditional launch of the Christmas season with a Carol Concert in the church. Details of all these events and any talks we are able to arrange will be sent out nearer the time.                      

May I take this opportunity to thank you all for your continuing support that has helped us supply funds to the PCC to maintain and improve our beautiful ancient church                                                Ian Jones    Chairman & Trustee