The Friends of Winchelsea Church is an unincorporated charity, established by Trust Deed, whose charitable objects are to:
Arouse and foster interest in the parish church at Winchelsea
Cooperate with the Parochial Church Council (PCC) in the preservation and improvement of the fabric, furniture, stained glass and monuments of the church and churchyard.
The bulk of its funds are comprised of a generous legacy from the wills of the late Dr and Mrs Edmund Dugdale Jones, made in 1989. A Council of the Friends, separate from the PCC, oversees this fund, investing capital monies and earning interest to support necessary expenditure of the PCC for non-liturgical expenses concerned with the fabric, buildings and the churchyard.
Since 2004 the Friends have contributed £362,000 for the upkeep of the Church and for capital items as described on our Capital Projects page.
This legacy, along with other donations received is invested and managed by the stockbrokers Charles Stanley in a medium/low risk portfolio designed to balance income and capital returns. The accounts of the Friends are approved at its Annual General Meeting and are published on this website, along with its Constitution.
This investment policy has enabled the Friends to contribute £1,500 per month to the PCC and, over the last 2 years, has enabled the following key routine enhancements to be undertaken:
- Full electrical survey and defect rectification.
- Statutory surveys and rectifications.
- Drain and gutter clearance.
- Vestry redecoration.
- Draft exclusion at main doors.
- External stonework repairs and decoration.
- Fitting of a new boiler water pump.
- Update and repair of internal and external notice boards.
Some of these are recurring items, but the fact is that without the contribution of the Friends, the PCC would be unable to raise sufficient funds to meet the commitments associated with keeping open a magnificent building, available for use by the community as a whole, as well as visitors to the Town. This is why the balance between income and capital returns is so important. If the balance was not maintained, the capital would not be there to keep the church alive on a day to day basis. The Church accounts are also available on this website and total outgoings amount to some £100,000 per year.
In addition, the following major capital projects have been fully, or largely, funded by the Friends in recent years:
- 2005: Wall repairs £10k
- 2007: Repairs to South Isle wall £36k and window repairs £11k
- 2008: Work on transepts £35k, window repairs £22k and central heating £23k
- 2012: Re-roofing of the vestry following lead theft £3K
- 2014: Wall repairs £7k
There is always capital work to be undertaken, but the major expense item in the next 2-3 years is the re-roofing of the South slope, which will run into some £60,000.
We are always keen to attract new members to the Friends.
Please consider joining us. Membership costs £10 per year and we also gratefully accept donations and legacies. Details can be obtained from the Treasurer of the Friends of Winchelsea Church, who can be contacted as follows:
Or by e-mail to email@example.com.Council of Friends