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Friends of Hadleigh Church (St James the Less) was started as an initiative in November 1997, following guidance from The Diocese of Chelmsford and Friends of Essex Churches.
The society is formally constituted as a separate, independent Charitable Society, registered with the Charities Commission and has as its main objectives to “Maintain, repair, restore, improve, beautify and reconstruct for the benefit of the public, the fabric of the Church.”
The Friends was set up to specifically embrace a wider population other than the normal Worshippers of the Church – it had long been felt that people of different types of Christianity, or of no faith at all related to the beautiful Church building, built in the 12th Century.
The Friends try to appeal to the wider community of Hadleigh and events, such as Concerts and Talks are arranged on a regular basis to meet that need. The Friends are purposefully not religious in outreach (although most of the Committee are members of the fellowship of the Church and worship regularly at the Church), seeking to attract well-wishers from the whole community.
Membership of the Friends is by way of an Annual Subscription of £24; which can be paid in monthly instalments. Click here to download a standing order form.
The Committee is constituted of 7, three of whom are elected annually in rotation at the AGM which is usually held in June and the officers are presently the following:
|Chairman:||Mrs Brenda Inston|
|Treasurer:||Mr Neil Hamper|
|Secretary:||Mrs Kay Moore|
Over the Years, the Friends have raised in excess of £50,000 to meet expenditure to the church buildings – because of the nature and age of the building, considerable care has to be taken to ensure that repair work is undertaken by the Church Council (PCC) sympathetically and complies with the requirements of the Diocesan Advisory Committee and other statutory bodies such as English Heritage. This means that building works are invariably more expensive than would be the case for domestic or commercial buildings undertaking similar work.
A recent example of remedial work undertaken was repairs to the stained-glass windows and surrounding brickwork located at the East end (Chancel & Sanctuary) of the Church. The cost, to include making good the paintwork after repairing and refitting the windows was approximately £20,000.
Because of the extreme old age of the building, there is always uncertainty as to where and when the next major repair project will have to be undertaken and we need to be constantly aware that we need funds to support the repairs.
Most of our source of income derives from the Subscriptions, and we always welcome new members. Our Concerts and Events are usually well-supported; we have a reputation for providing excellent Refreshments at these Concerts. There is therefore “two Treats for the Price of One”.