Friends' Festival

A lavish ploughman’s lunch and a lively appreciation of the Chancel were two highlights of the Annual Festival of the Friends on 23rd August 2008.


At the height of a dismal summer, Roger and Sheila Pinson took the brave decision to offer ploughman’s lunches in their delightful garden following the Eucharist. But prayers were answered – the sun shone, and people flocked to enjoy good food and company amongst the fruit trees in this lovely setting.

Later, more than 40 Friends assembled in the Priory church for their Annual General Meeting. Despite expenditure on administrative projects to support recruitment and future efficiencies, the Friends heard that their reserves had increased by some 5%.

Churchwarden Robin Wilson paid  tribute to the many unsung volunteers who contribute so much to the life of the church. He also noted the increasing number of community and fund-raising events, and a welcome increase in younger members of the congregation.


During the year, the PCC had updated the verger’s house, tidied the vestry area, and helped the Parish Council to provide a new village hall car park. Improvements to the church organ were on the cards, but thefts of lead from other churches had focussed minds on improved security.

Michael Jones reported that all the stonework and roof repairs specified in our architect’s quinquennial report had now been completed within budget. For the current year, Friends voted a total of £6173 for repairs to the churchyard cross and Sanctus bell, as well as for the installation of an intruder alarm to safeguard the church’s lead roofs.

David Foster reviewed the background and content of the Friends’ website. The meeting elected Ruth Hawley to the Friends Council, and welcomed Maggie Atterbury as the new Membership Secretary.


Friends were able to try out the website over tea, before adjourning to the chancel to hear Michael Jones and Graham Laslett deliver a lively and entertaining review of its history and architectural features.

Their story touched on George Herbert, who was married here in 1629, and whose statue forms part of the reredos, as well as the association of the Lewis and Taylor families with the chancel memorials. There were also fascinating insights into the building of the crypt in the 19th century, and subsequent changes to the chancel floor levels.

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