‘The Friends’ is a registered charity (CC No. 279543) whose aims and objectives are summed up in the opening paragraph of the constitution – ‘the preservation and upkeep of the church, its contents from time to time and its churchyard’.
There has been a church on the site since the 12th century and is recorded in the reign of Henry VII (1485-1509) as being a small building with a gallery and a disproportionately large tower holding 4 bells. The present church was consecrated in 1846 and was initiated by The Revd. Alexander Broadley whose grave is under the east window and whose face is depicted as St.Paul in the south window of the chancel.
Apart from assisting in the continuing maintenance required for an historic listed grade II* building, ‘The Friends’ have contributed some £94,000.00 since 2000 to finance various projects inside the church such as the construction of a kitchen and toilets, installation of a reproduction system using flat screens, and the removal of the pews which were replaced by chairs which allows for flexibility in the use of the church other than for services, and a new path in the churchyard to open up ground for burials and a garden of remembrance. Removal of the pews made it possible to install under-floor heating.
Fund-raising and social activities are organised from time to time such as local walks followed by cream teas, quiz evenings, skittles and themed events.
The ‘Soup & Pud Lunch’ – 24th November 2018: at 12.30pm in church. Eight homemade soups, ten homemade puddings – hot or cold; plenty to go around and a total of £419 was raised for the work of The Friends.
Paul Atterbury – 27th October 2018: A truly entertaining time was enjoyed by the fifty eight people who attended ‘An Evening with Paul Atterbury’. Thanks are due to Wendy C and Maureen R for proposing and arranging the talk, and to Peter C for planning the auction of promises, and producing the catalogue. The talk was both informative and amusing – Paul describing his family background, the development of his career as a writer and publisher, and the many varied and amusing aspects of the BBC Antiques Roadshow. After a ‘question time’ with Paul, a fine array of cheeses and crackers was on offer, prepared by Chrissie M, Celia E and Jill McG. The auction was conducted with great aplomb by Paul who clearly enjoyed the task, giving an appropriate introduction for each of the fourteen very generous ‘promises’ made by members of the church family and local businesses. The amount raised by the auction was £485. Thank you to those who gave prizes for the raffle, which raised £100. With the sale of tickets, and the generous donations at the bar, the total raised was an incredible £1,212.45 which I believe is the most we have ever made in one evening. Thank you to all who supported this memorable event.
Membership of “The Friends” is open to anyone – not just members of the congregation, since it is recognised that non-church goers have an interest in preserving a distinguishing landmark in Bradpole, and to upkeep the graveyard where their relatives or ancestors may be buried. The annual subscription is a modest £6 per person or £100 life membership. Members are encouraged to Gift Aid so that income tax may be reclaimed.
If you would like to become a member, please pick up an application form in the church, or contact the membership secretary, Peter Carnell – 01308 420716 – email@example.com