“Friends of St Edmund’s Church”


The “Friends” do sterling work, fundraising for the upkeep of our historic Norman church building. If you would like to join “The Friends of St Edmund’s” please download the membership form and follow the instructions.

St Edmund’s Church Building Trust

Friends of St Edmunds

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING- The Annual General Meeting of the Friends of St Edmund’s 2019 will take place on Wednesday 22nd May, 10.30 am at St Edmund’s Church , Church Road. Please note the earlier time !

All are welcome –If you are not already a member of the Friends why not come along to find out about what we do.

Membership is open to anyone over the age of 18 who wishes to help with the preservation of our 930 year old parish church. New members are always welcome. Enrolment forms are displayed in St Edmund’s or please contact the Secretary on 883126


1. Welcome and apologies for absence         

  1. Minutes of the last Annual General Meeting -these will be displayed in both churches for prior inspection.
  2. Acceptance of the minutes as a true record.
  3. Matters arising.
  4. Chairman’s Report
  5. Secretary’s Report
  6. Presentation of Accounts
  7. Adoption of Accounts
  8. Appointment of an Independent Examiner
  9. Election of Committee Members

NB Holding the Annual General Meeting is a requirement under our Constitution – We review the year’s projects and activities , present accounts and elect Committee members as necessary. Although our income does not require checking of our accounts, in the interests of clarity we have them checked by an Independent Examiner.

To find out more the minutes from the 2018 AGM will be displayed in both churches.





10.30 am at St Edmund’s Church, Wootton

CHAIRMAN David Bennison


SECRETARY- Doreen Gazey

PRESENT- Revd. Veronica Brown, David Bennison, David Poore, Mary Peters, Margaret Harris, Kay Mcarthy, Doreen Gazey, Mary Pinfold, Linda Marlow, Carol Russell, Richard Russell, John Terry, Jenny Goodall, Mike Broadsmith.

1)     WELCOME AND APOLOGIES FOR ABSENCE, The Chairman welcomed those present –
APOLOGIES- Erica Hall, Hazel Lewis ,Rosemary Thomas, Ann Capps, Erica Hall,Pauline Kirby, Dawn Simmonds

  • 2) MINUTES OF THE LAST ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING -these will be displayed in both churches for prior inspection.
    ALL AGREED That the minutes be declared a true record.
  • 4) Matters arising. There were no matters arising.
    The Chairman informed the members that the work of the Trust was continuing as normal as success was indicated by the Accounts. Expenditure was mainly routine except for upgrading of heaters under the choir stalls. This had been necessary, as the original heaters did not comply with new regulations. He thanked his fellow Committee members and the supporters among the general public . He referred to the positive impact on the general public, seeing how St Edmund’s was loved and cared for.
    Thanks to the Secretary for her work were recorded
    The Secretary thanked the Chairman for his leadership.

During the last year the Committee of the Friends of St Edmund’s met 3 times. Topics discussed were

  • Projects, Finances. See Treasurers Report
  • Election of officers to the Committee. NB Officers are elected at the first Committee Meeting after the AGM. On the retirement of Mary Peters as Churchwarden Ann Capps is now the churchwarden member of the Committee while Mary Peters has joined the Committee as an ordinary member.
  • Planning for the Open Weekend- As to display boards we borrow most of them. However, the library service, one source tells me they haven’t so many this year as their stock is being damaged. So if anyone hears of another source please let us know.
  • Date of the AGM
  • The Ride and Stride Event- re the funds raised from this event part of which goes to the Trust. Support and stewarding is needed for this event. As it is the week after the OW we can publicise it then.
  • The Annual Newsletter- Agreed once more that the St Mary’s Print Room should be asked to do this as their prices were very competitive.
  • A donor who has sent us a cheque yearly for several years was to be informed that the Committee had voted to declare her an honorary member. She was very pleased.
  • Note re the Open Weekend – as usual help is needed for stewarding, delivering posters and flyers etc as well as donations of cakes etc. Inevitably numbers have dwindled over the years but the help is needed more than ever. Ideas for other types of fund-raising, topics for displays etc are gratefully received.
  • 7) PRESENTATION OF ACCOUNTS – The Treasurer passed round copies of Accounts for 2017-2018. A number of points were raised. The income of the Trust had gone up slightly. The main expense during the year had been the heating which was less than expected.
    Re the fact that the Accounts had not yet been approved the following were mentioned and discussed.
    ð The annual income of the Trust was below the limit where checking was legally necessary. However in the interest of clarity the Trust had always had the accounts checked.
    ð There was a shortage of people qualified to carry out the work free of charge.. Those who were qualified often had a very heavy workload.
    ð As the Accounts had not yet been checked, approval would be subject to Examination.
    ð Owing to the timing of the AGM it had not been possible to complete the checking beforehand.
    ð The Secretary pointed out that the dating of the AGM allowed time to produce the annual newsletter and plan for the Annual Open Weekend.
    a number of suggestions were made , including perhaps finding another Examiner, holding the AGM later to allow time for checking ( a week should be sufficient) .The Chairman agreed that these could be discussed at the next Committee meeting.
    ð To a query about how funds given to the PCC were dealt with, these went into a restricted fund . The use was decided by the PCC. The remit was slightly different in that sums from the Restricted fund could be spent on the churchyard while the remit of the Trust was for work on the church building.
    ð The Treasurer commended the fund-raising work of the Secretary
    PROPOSED David Poore
    SECONDED John Terry
    That the accounts be adopted subject to Examiner’s approval.
    AGREED With one abstention.
  • 9) APPOINTMENT OF AN INDEPENDENT EXAMINER – Note the Examiner should not be a member of the Trust.
    PROPOSED David Poore
    SECONDED Revd Veronica Brown
    That Peter Robinson should be appointed Independent Examiner for the current year.
    Due to retire- Doreen Gazey, Dawn Simmonds.
    There being no other nominations
    PROPOSED David Bennison
    SECONDED Richard Russell
    that Doreen Gazey and Dawn Simmonds be re-elected to the Committee.

    The main business of the AGM having been completed the Chairman declared the meeting closed at 11.10 am . A general discussion followed.
    ð Revd Brown expressed her thanks to the Friends. She suggested inviting Cantus Vesperi to perform as a fundraiser.
    ð John Terry pointed out re the annual Ride and Stride event in aid of the Historic Churches Trust benefited ST Edmund’s which received 50 %   of the fund   raised via sponsorship. The Bell repair project had been helped by the Trust.
    Stewards were needed greet the participants . IN 2017 there had been none..
    Members agreed that this should be raised with the PCC . Publicity could appear in the notice sheet and the Bridge magazine as well
    The date was the 8th
    Linda Marlow agreed to act as Steward . Other volunteers could be sought

    ð Mike Broadsmith ( Churchwarden) The PCC were awaiting the grant of Faculty to install the new notice board and hang the Mothers Union banner which had been moved into the side chapel. The notice board would   be a different design and colour to make it more conspicuous and would be placed on the East end of the churchyard wall where it would be more visible. The ground in question had not been consecrated.

There being no other questions the chairman thanked all present and declared to meeting closed at 11.30am

Thanks to all who attended our Annual General Meeting in May.

    Grateful thanks to all who helped to make last year’s event successful. The Open Weekend 2019 is being considered.
    St Edmund’s Church is an absolute gem to visit for anyone with an interest in family and local history, churchbuildings and architecture, and the more general history of our country.
    Come in and view the extensive display of items and pieces from our parish archives, taking you on a journey through time. You may even get to chat with the Parish Archivist who is a fount of knowledge on the history of the church in Wootton. Why not ask about joining the “Friends of St Edmund’s”?

    How it all started


    A brief survey

    Due to changes within the Church of England there was in the mid 1990s, a threat to close some churches. Wootton , having two buildings serving the same Parish was vulnerable.

    St. Edmund’s Church building could not be expanded, so that the sister church of St. Mark’s would become the main worship centre, and St. Edmund’s would be made redundant and closed.

    Because of this possibility, the Archdeacon of the time, the Revd. Tony Turner suggested that we set up the St Edmund’s Church Building Trust , a charitable Trust to help maintain the building and keep this valuable spiritual and historical heritage for the village.

    In the event of the church being declared redundant under the Pastoral measures Act the Trust would have legal rights regarding the use of the building.

    The Trust was launched at our first Annual Open Weekend, August Bank Holiday 1996. A Friends section was initiated whereby members of the public could join and produce support and funding for the Trust, with a Management Committee as controlling agents.

    The Trust Deed was produced in July 1997 with the legal expertise of Tony Turner and  Peter Smith. David Poore became the Founder Trustee with Parish Councillors, Mrs Maureen Stolworthy and Mrs Roma Hames as co Trustees.

    During the years since then the Trust has been able to fund over £46, 000 worth of repairs and renovation. Most of the funds have been raised through the generosity of our members and sympathisers.


    The Trust is launched - official launch at the first Annual Open Weekend 1996

    The Trust is launched at the first annual  Open Weekend 1996


    • repair and rehanging of the bell.
    • Construction of a new vestry staircase to the organ loft.
    • re-plastering and painting of the vestry
    • repair of two of the set of four lancet windows in the chancel. The leading had decayed and the glass was bowing , creating holes through which the wind blew, often down the necks of worshippers. The pair on the south wall were last repaired in the 1970 s following a spate of vandalism.
    • Repair and reconstruction of two buttresses.
    • repairs to exterior stonework.
    • The North Churchyard Wall-Mr Tony Redfern kindly donated his labour to rebuild this wall

    NB if you wish to help with fundraising or to learn more about the Trust please contact the Secretary.see above