Thank you so much to everyone who came and supported Chris Leslie’s concert last saturday night in St Mary’s Church raising the fantastic amount of £1836 for FOSMA. It was a truly magical evening. As the sun was setting, bathing the church in evening sunlight, Chris treated us to a selection of beautiful music and haunting songs while playing a selection of instruments including a native Indian flute, guitar, fiddle and his much cherished Hardanger fiddle. A huge thank you to Chris for sharing his precious time with us and treating us all to a memorable evening.
St Mary’s Church has received a confirmed grant of £290,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its tower restoration project. Thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, the project aims to make essential repairs to the historic church tower, which is on English Heritage’s ‘At Risk Register’, and preserve it as a focus of village life and a place of great beauty for future generations.
The contractor Stone Edge has started to rebuild the badly damaged eastern parapet, relead the parapet gutters, replace gargoyles, repair the belfry louvres, repair the carved frieze and redecorate the clock faces. An educational programme is running to coincide with the work including children from the nearby Christopher Rawlins Church of England Primary School designing replacement gargoyles and a village talk by the architect about the restoration work being done on the tower.
The £400,000 needed for restoration is largely funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Friends of St Mary’s Adderbury (FOSMA) is raising funds with Jazz in the Garden, Christmas Tree Festival, Chris Lesley concert and other community events. Those who were sponsored to take part in Ride and Stride also raised money for the tower restoration. Grants were also received from the Oxford Historic Church Trust, Church Care, Society of Antiquaries, Adderbury Parish Council, Adderbury Education and Banbury Charities.
The tower, with its distinctive clock faces and tall octagonal spire, has been a focal point for the village community since it was added as part of the 14th century rebuilding of the church and reaches 150 feet into the sky visible for miles around. The church has an active congregation that does much for the community and the building is used for services, weddings, christening, funerals, bell-ringing and choral activities as well as school and village events including concerts, markets and festivals benefiting the village and wider community. St. Mary’s is home to the Adderbury Ensemble.
Commenting on the award, the Vicar of St Mary’s Church Adderbury, Rev Stephen Fletcher said: “We are delighted that we have received this support thanks to National Lottery players. The tower with its spire has been a focal point for the community since it was built 700 years ago. The restoration work will ensure the tower is no longer at risk and preserved for generations to come.”
Stone Edge Operations Director, Keith Learoyd, said: “The team is delighted to be carrying out the works at this fascinating medieval church. It’s a privilege to be working in such a historic setting, surrounded by the wonderful carvings.”
Further information will follow in Contact and there will be updates in the church and on the website www.adderbury-stmarys.com as well as on social media @adderburychurch #adderburychurchtower. If you would like to contribute to the cost of restoration then please contact FOSMA who will welcome donations. For details of future fundraising events, please visit their website www.fosmaadderbury.weebly.com.
The restoration work uses lime mortar which takes time to dry and cure which has made it necessary to stop bell ringing from 25 June until the work finishes in December. A Quarter Peal will be rung after the service on Sunday 24 June to mark the beginning of the cessation. The carillon is sounded by hammers so continues to operate.
On Wednesday, May 2 at 7.30 pm we held our annual Poetry Evening. in Church House and shared some of our favourite poems. From Shakespeare to Limericks we welcomed them all. It was a delightful evening and raised just over £100.
On Friday, April 13th we welcomed Australian Broadcast Corporation’s Europe Bureau Chief, Lisa Millar to Church House. She gave a fascination insight to life as a foreign correspondent and her experiences covering some of the biggest stories of the last decade including Brexit, the Trump election, terrorism and much more. The evening raised £650 which was fantastic.
Early in the year Matt Brock, a personal trainer, very kindly gave an hour of his time every friday morning to ‘Keep Fit with FOSMA’! It was a fun hour in the Lucy Plackett Playing Field being put through our paces and trying to regain some long lost fitness (for some of us at least!). Although few in numbers, it was a fun time and raised £197.
After much fretting about the weather – the sun finally came out on the afternoon of the 23rd July for us to enjoy the music of Dickie White and Friends while about 80 of us picnic-ed splendidly in the beautiful garden of The Old Mill House. As always it was a most convivial afternoon, catching up with old friends and making some new ones with the added bonus of raising £1010 for FOSMA.
Thank you to everyone who came and supported us and to Tim and Karen Bestwick for their very generous hospitality.
On 8th July we were delighted to welcome Chris Mason, a local Swift expert, to Church House where he gave an introductory talk about these amazing birds while a dozen or so of us enjoyed a delicious tea. Afterwards we embarked on a walk around part of the village where swifts were known to frequent, and learnt about their habits and habitats. We were fortunate enough to see some swifts both entering and leaving some of their homes – ie special boxes attached to house walls – and also observe them screaming and swooping across the skies above us. It was a most enjoyable and informative afternoon and we made £110 for FOSMA which was great.
Aspirata Vocalis, a 30-strong choir from Copenhagen, are touring England, performing in Winchester Cathedral, Salisbury Cathedral , Romsey Abbey – and St Mary’s Adderbury!
They thoroughly enjoyed their visit, with a full English tea, plenty of wine, and the beauty of the church filled with evening sunlight and of course its wonderful acoustics
And how we enjoyed having them. A lovely group of enthusiasts who gave us a varied programme of Danish hymns anthems and folk songs, featuring a stunning soprano soloist
The evening finished with everyone joining in a stirring Abide With Me in deference to the Manchester bombing
Highly enjoyable, with the added benefit of raising £554 for FOSMA funds. Many thanks to all who came and supported the event.
Another year of events for FOSMA is being planned and now we have a real focus!
FIRSTLY, we have agreed to fund the complete refurbishment of the second south window despite the revised quote being considerably higher than expected. Hopefully the work will begin soon.
THEN the big task is the tower, which was highlighted in the Quinquennial Report as needing significant repair work. The cost of this has been estimated at c. £400,000. It is hoped that the Heritage Lottery and other grant giving bodies will agree to fund the lion’s share of this, but even with their help, FOSMA will probably need to raise c.£30,000 over the next 18 months to make up the shortfall It is hoped the work will be completed late 2018.
So as you can see, your support is needed even more than ever and with that in mind, we have three dates for you to put in your diaries to get things started before we have a proper ‘launch’ a bit further into the year when you will be able to come and hear for yourselves exactly what the work entails.
We do hope you will support us in our mammoth task – St Mary’s tower is such an iconic landmark in the village that we ALL enjoy. Let’s get it back to its full glory!
As always, thank you for your encouragement and support.