History & Achievements (Abridged)
Foundation Years 1990 – 1998
After the major restoration between 1983 and 1987 funded largely by an appeal to the public of the town and the world, further deterioration of the building was inevitable. Our then architect [Roy Bordoli] decided to form The Friends as an independent Charitable Trust with its own constitution, officers and ‘ring-fenced’ funds.
The Friends was registered under the Charities Act of 1993. The Charities Commission confirmed its approval of the foundation of The Friends on 11 March 1998. Funds donated to or raised by The Friends are kept in a separate account controlled by its Treasurer and Trustees and are used solely to contribute to monitoring the integrity of and maintaining the quality of the church fabric.
Implementation Years 1998 – 2009
The means of achieving the additional funds are outlined in the Constitution as ‘arranging and providing exhibitions, concerts, meetings, lectures and classes’. So far concerts have been our most effective category. We have found the social dimension of The Friends continues to be important.
Publications have included the annual Newsletter, the one-off summary of all the church's stained glass and, in more recent years, Chairman John's ‘Window’ newsbriefs.
After a slow start, over £38,000 has been raised with over £31,000 spent on six projects [The East Window refurbishment, the South Buttresses repair, the Tower survey, Chancel Roof re-sheeting with stainless steel, Tower mullions and clearing the guttering and 12 downpipes]. The balance is almost entirely invested with the Market Harborough Building Society awaiting the next request[s] from the Church Council.
The items needing attention reported in the church architect's report after his quinquennial inspection in March 2009 have been carried out. Whilst there are no current requests in the pipeline from the Church Council for financial help with the fabric projects, the need for stone repair work in the West end porch is under review.