The Friends of St. Michael’s was founded in June 1995. Although the personnel has changed over the years the Friends has always comprised of multi-denominational villagers whose aim has been to maintain the structure and fabric of the Church for others to enjoy in future years.
The Friends are there to help fund projects that require significant capital expenditure that is outside of the Diocesan budget. Between 1995 and 1999 much valuable ground work was undertaken to secure covenants and donations.
Every five years the Church Architect completes a detailed survey of St. Michael’s which highlights any structural issues or urgent repairs. In 2000 the Friends were made aware that the roof of the Bell Tower needed replacing and the South Wall of the Church needed repairing and re-pointing.
The Friends, under the inimitable Chairmanship of Nigel Hamilton, swung into action with the famous ‘ Friend’s Thermometer’ appearing on the Batch showing how much had to be raised for their projects and how the fundraising was progressing. The Friends also secured Lady Gass as their Patron.
Many innovative and much-admired fundraising events were organised over the next five years. The first of which being a Christmas Concert featuring the Cabot Choir and Bristol Brass Consort. This single concert raised over £1600 and was followed by musically themed evenings held in the stunning environment of the Church featuring Bristol Cathedral School, Clifton College and Mendip Voices.
The Bristol Brass Consort also performed an open-air summer concert behind the Church. John Avery kindly hosted three memorable wine tastings on behalf of the Friends and they also had a Bridge Supper, A Golf Evening and a Supper with a Mystery Speaker. An Auction, which was nearly cancelled due to poor advance ticket sales, raised over £3300.
In all the Friends raised well over £40,000 and successfully funded the Tower Roof and South Wall projects with a financial cushion left over for future requirements.
In 2006 the Friends had ‘a girl’ and Patti Simcock, now the Chair, joined. At this juncture it was decided that the Friends, after five years solid fundraising, should wind down their efforts as there were no immediate projects for St. Michael’s on the horizon. The Friends have hosted a handful of events since to maintain their profile.
The Friends would like to extend their deep thanks to all who have supported them over the years and who continue to do so. Without their generosity the Friends would not have achieved their financial targets.
Friends Trustees - Past and Present:-
James Bragg Ken Moore
Brett Halling-Brown Axel Palmer
Nigel Hamilton (ex Chairman) Andrew Pratt
David Hill Patti Simcock (Chair)
Dick Hyde Mike Sinden
David Jewel Mike Stobie
Peter Luckett (ex Chairman) Mark Sumpter (Hon. Secretary)
For more information, contact: Mark Sumpter 01761 221852