The Friends of the Church of St Mary Ottery
The Friends of the Church of St Mary, Ottery
The Friends of the Church was inaugurated in 1952 by a small group from the Parish Church.
It became a registered charity (No. 1084453) on 10th January 2001.
To advance the Christian Religion and to preserve and enhance for the public benefit the Church of St Mary of Ottery, its churchyards and precincts, by assisting with the maintaining, providing, improving and enhancing of the fabric, fittings, monuments, furniture and ornaments of the church,churchyard and precincts.
More about the Friends
We have approximately thirty to forty Life members and fifty to sixty members who pay an annual subscription. In addition we have received over the years generous donations and legacies and retiring collections from funeral services.
At present the Life subscription is £150 with £10 minimum for an annual subscriber. Membership is open to all who love and value this church, whatever their religious beliefs (one of our Life Members resides in Ireland).
Our Patron is The Lord Bishop of Exeter.
Members are always invited to attend our Annual Festal Evensong and the October Annual General Meeting and receive a copy of our accounts
We arrange numerous fundraising social functions/events during the year – wine and cheese evenings, wine and raspberry /strawberry events, afternoon cream teas, food raffles and recently we have held pleasant evening functions at Knightstone Manor. During the latter part of November 2011 we arranged, and stewarded, a very successful Christmas Tree Festival over five days in the Church and this raised a profit of some £570. A first for the town.
We have also arranged trips to Wimborne Minster, Sherborne Abbey and Bristol. Trips here have included a shortened evensong led by an augmented choir under the direction of Brian Waterfield (one of our members) The Exeter Cathedral Choir have visited the Church on many occasions for our Annual Festal Service, at our invitation.
Over the past eight to ten years we have paid for some of the following projects: Lady Chapel kneelers £400 – 50% purchase of a keyboard (£500) – Nave area carpeting £1300 – Office safe £950 – Choir and Vicar’s vestries carpeting £1800 - Two side aisle altar frontals and backdrops £950 – a new flag (St. George) and rope £400 – new loose padded seats for the choir stalls £1000. During the re-ordering period (2010/2011) we handed over £3,250. Annually we also contribute towards the electricity used to floodlight the Church.
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