Friends of St Mary’s Antiques & Other Updates
The Friends have been busy lately and have news to share about the start of renovations work, their successful afternoon at the village fayre and a new initiative, an Antiques Valuation Day.
This is taking place on Saturday 30th September at the Orpen Hall between 10am – 1pm. Bring along your treasures to be valued by Michael Bowles and Marc Walker of Colchester Collectables and BBC TV’s Flog It programme. Everyone is welcome and at just £2 an item it is a bargain not to be ignored.
Conservation Word To Start Soon
The good news is that the Churches Conservation Trust now tell us that the work will begin on Monday 25th September. This is great news at long last. Work will continue through the winter, and will include some repair of the internal plasterwork. Scaffolding will be erected so our church won’t look so pretty for a while.
At the same time, while the old defective plaster is removed and before it is replaced, a conservator will come and check if there are any hidden wall paintings. The timing of the start of internal redecoration will depend on when the other work finishes, and will probably wait until warm spring weather arrives.
Although we have managed to raise our required contribution of £10,000 thanks to the generosity of so many people and organisations in the village, we have decided to carry on with a few more fundraising events to cover any extra expenses that may arise and help towards the general cost of maintaining the building and grounds. Eventually we would like to be able to install some lighting in the church if possible.
The Friends of St Mary’s old Church had a great day at the village Fete and our thanks goes to Laura Walkinshaw and her hard working team for organising the event. The weather was kind to us all and the everything was very well organised and good fun.
On our stall we had some small hand bells with sheet music. Lots of children (and adults), had a go at playing the songs. Some of the children were really good at it; maybe we will be able to get a little bell ringing group together sometime in the future. We also had a lot of information on show to explain how the building repairs are progressing; we also had photos of some of our past events. The number of people who were interested in the Old Church was particularly gratifying; some have joined the ‘Friends of St Mary’s Old Church’.