May 6th, 2017
In my first full year as Chairman of The Friends of St Anne’s Church, Kew, I am delighted to be writing to you about our activities over this past year and our plans going forward.
Firstly, on behalf of the Executive Committee, we would like to thank you so much for your support and generous contributions over the past year.
At the start of this financial year, we are pleased with our current financial position as funds are once again building up. Thanks to the Friends Treasurer Anne Barker for the clarity and collation of all our financial reports.
Continuing our purpose to maintain the fabric of the Church, our next objective is to contribute to one of the projects that St Anne’s Church 2020 Vision – A Mission Worth Living – is undertaking. This project will be to raise funds to repair part of the crumbling Church wall. We do hope you will agree that this is a worthwhile cause and we look forward to your continued support to raise the funds required. We are pleased to report that The Floodlight 300 project is nearing completion with just the Parish Hall pathway lighting to be embedded and tidied up.
To expedite this along, our vision for fundraising in the year ahead is to initiate a planned event schedule which we anticipate will include several inspiring and interesting events. We will keep you informed about this schedule.
During this past year, we have organised and hosted several very successful fundraising events to bring Friends together as well as non – Friends both locally and further afield. These have all proved to be very profitable as our financial report demonstrates. We started with an event last summer – ‘It’s a Musical World’ following on with another Table Top sale last September, which is proving to be a very popular and sought after event with enquiries already for our next one. Then starting in January 2017, we have run three very successful events namely; ‘Biba – The Inside Story’; ‘My Secret Work in World War Two’; ‘Botticelli’s Venus & Mars – New Discoveries & New Readings’; All three of these events were run on a Saturday morning offering both coffee initially followed by a light lunch with wine after each talk. This formula has proved to be effective attracting excellent audience numbers and most importantly a good profit. In addition, we also raised funds through a jewellery sale. Our next event is a Beer Tasting on Friday 12th May 2017. This will be presented by a very experienced Beer Sommelier to include a Raffle donated by Fullers Brewery for a 3 Course Meal for 2 to include Wine or Beer at any Fullers Pub. Additionally in July / August we will be offering a tour to the Fullers brewery.
Unfortunately, we will be losing Monica Bridgewater who has been our Events Coordinator for several years and has decided to step down from our Executive Committee. I would like to thank Monica for all her hard work and dedication.
Directly after the AGM last year, having reported our plan to create our own website, this went into operation very quickly and efficiently. This has made an enormous difference to the day to day operation of The Friends and as you may know all new and renewals of Membership as well as purchasing of event tickets can be activated via the Website. We are very indebted to Paul Booth our Webmaster who has been unfailing in his dedication for us to achieve this goal. We are now finally in the 21st Century!
The membership subscription has been increased from April 2017 which has resulted in a number of members choosing not to renew. However, this has been countered by a very positive response to our appeal for new members and 23 people have joined over the course of the last year. At the time of writing, 15 people had stated that they do not wish to renew with a further 29 who have not so far responded. We lost 3 members throughout the year – all deceased. The current position is as follows:
|Friends (paid full amount of £25; includes renewals, those who joined online & some new members)||120|
|Paid old rate (i.e. standing order not been amended)||30|
|Not known (waiting for Anne to check next month’s statement)||29|
We now have a dedicated Membership Secretary, Wendy Booth. Previously this was with split with The Secretary, Ben Jones and The Treasurer, Anne Barker. With the added workload of running and communicating with membership on the website this has proved to be a very positive as well as effective decision. In addition, with the facility of our website we have been endeavouring to communicate via email with Friends as this is more time effective as well as reducing our mail costs considerably. Our thanks to Wendy Booth for taking this on.
As in the previous year we initiated another new Christmas card. A photograph of a beautiful stained glass window in St Anne’s was chosen and having negotiated an earlier delivery date than last year this proved to be very effective and they sold out. Again, as last year we successfully sold a considerable amount of our current stocks of previous years’ Christmas cards of which there are now very few left,
We reported last year that we would be reprinting The Friends leaflet with updated photographs and we are very pleased to report that this was completed very soon after our last AGM.
Finally, I would like to say a big thank you to all those that have served relentlessly on the Friends Executive Committee over the past year. These are Paul Booth, Wendy Booth. Monica Bridgewater, Jill Clarke, Phyllis Cunningham, Bruce Hodgkinson, Ben Jones, Cate Lyon, Linda Pethick, our newest member, Tina Ruygrof, Telfer Saywell and not forgetting our President Fr Nigel Worn. A few people are stepping down this year and we are sorry to see them leave. We have reviewed and adjusted the Friends Constitution to enable a more comprehensive representation of tasks required from committee members now. We hope that going forward we can encourage new people with relevant experience primarily in marketing, PR and fundraising to join us. Should you know of anyone or have the relevant experience in any of these fields, we would be delighted to hear from you.
We are looking forward to a successful year ahead and on behalf of The Friends of St Anne’s Executive Committee, may we thank you all so much for your continued support and we look forward to welcoming you at our AGM next Saturday (6 May) and seeing you all at our events in the coming year.
Chairman, The Friends of St Anne’s Church, Kew