The Chairman of the Friends of St Andrew’s writes:
Since they were formed in 1974, the Friends have aimed at providing a regular sum of money, year by year, towards preserving and improving the fabric of this beautiful, historic church and its surroundings. They have done so for two main reasons. The first is that expenditure of this kind has to compete with all other claims on the parish’s resources. The second is that it is a way of bringing together the many people, regular worshippers and others alike, who realise the unique value the church building and its environment has for the character of Chesterton and the wider community.
Friends have contributed in all over £90,000. Major repairs to the roofs, parapets, buttresses and tower, comprehensive treatment of the woodwork, repair and improvement of the organ, installation of heating, updating of the sound amplification system and conservation of the very fine and important fifteenth century ‘doom’ painting (as featured in the national press) have all been made possible by their giving.
They have also provided funds for redecoration of the church interior, refurbishment of the kneelers in the nave and aisles, a complete renewal of the three sets of liturgical embroideries and a number of smaller items, such as the installation of special lighting, restoration of the clock face and provision of roadside notice boards. A comprehensive programme of improvement and maintenance is also being carried out in the churchyard. A most striking and widely appreciated addition has been the floodlighting of the church.
May I encourage you to join? There is no fixed annual subscription; members can determine their own level. The enrolment form includes both a Bankers Order, which is the preferred method of payment, and also, if you are a tax payer, a Gift Aid Declaration which greatly increases the value of your subscription at no extra cost to you. If you wish you can contact the treasurer, Mr Philip White, on (01223) 246836.
A Friend is sent a progress report each Autumn and is invited to a special service in the church, the Annual General Meeting and social gathering each Spring. You may be sure of a very warm welcome. A list of the Friends, updated annually, is displayed in the church.