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GNOSALL PARISH NEWS
Produced by publishers of The Popular Village Monthly
Friend’s of St Lawrence Church
14th AGM - 19th November 2019
Chairman Mike Redfern reported on a very successful year which began with the best ever Victorian Christmas. The Trustees were hoping that the changes that were introduced would increase income. No one expected the final figure to be in excess of £3000. The Trustees were naturally delighted that the hard work by the Trustees and the many volunteers had finally produced a figure that reflected the planning and preparation that goes into such an event. After costs and expenses were taken out, the final figure was below £3000, but it is still a substantial amount.
Together with the funds raised by the other events held during the year, the Friends were able to commit to funding the renovation of the West door of the church and the purchase of the new curtain that now hangs in front of the door.
I am sure everyone would agree that the work on the West door has made a noticeable improvement to the appearance of the church and is now an entrance that can be used to good effect on occasions such as weddings.
In addition to the renovations of the west door, the Friends have committed further funds to improving the stonework on the floor behind the high altar. Whilst this is not such a prominent feature within the church, it will help to bring the high altar more into use whilst protecting the stonework.
Friends are also involved in the renovation of the organ. The costs of the programme are yet to be ascertained, but Friends are committed to supporting the church in this project.
During the year, the Friends held three further fund raising events. A second Valentines supper concert was well attended, with the Newport Ukulele Band providing the entertainment. The RAF Cosford Military Wives choir performed a varied programme for an appreciative audience and a saxophone band from Stafford Grammar School showcased their youthful talent with a Sunday afternoon tea concert.
The Chairman thanked all Trustees and other volunteers for the time and effort that is put into the organisation of these events.
Sadly, the Chairman reported on the death of two of our former Trustees. Soon after last year’s AGM we lost Peter Gillard after a short illness and later in the year Pam Grace following a longer illness. Both were stalwart members and Trustees of the Friends. We have a full programme of events for 2020 which will add to the funds available for projects to help the church and honour the support given by Peter and Pam over many years.
After the formal part of the evening, the members and guests were treated to a very interesting talk on the Art of Beekeeping by Marie Jackson. Marie was very informative about the life cycles of honey bees and the work they do which leads to the production of honey which is then gathered for our benefit. It was possible to sample the different flavours of honey which Marie’s bees produce and to purchase jars from her. Those present were very pleased to be able to support this local production.