What or who are "The Friends"?
"The Friends" raise funds to help preserve Holy Cross Church for the benefit of future generations and keep it in good repair for all to enjoy its peace and beauty, to worship and receive comfort and inspiration from within its ancient walls.
Following a very successful 800th anniversary celebration of the building in 1990, the idea of The Friends was conceived. It was felt that the raising of funds for the upkeep of the building could and should be separated from, but still kept under the umbrella of, the Parochial Church Council. It was considered that the primary aim of the PCC was pastoral and to support the ministry of the living church rather than spending time on thinking of fundraising activities to maintain the bricks and mortar.
A formal Charitable Trust (The Friends of Holy Cross Church, Sarratt - UK Registered Charity Number 1018991) was therefore eventually formed in 1992 to do just that. The responsibility for the upkeep and overseeing repairs etc remains with the PCC, what The Friends do is raise the monies to pay for it.
As well as paying for routine repairs and maintenance of the church, the most significant example of how The Friends have helped was providing the funds to enable the complete re-roofing of the church in the year 2000, at a cost of approximately £90,000; internal redecoration in 2008 costing £57,000 and the rebuilding of the West Wall and Boundary Walls towards the end of 2009, costing approximately £50,000.
We have regular events and projects. We support the Flower Festival on the last weekend in June each year (see `Holy Cross Page`), and hold an annual Sponsored Bicycle Ride in conjunction with the Historic Churches Trust.
These events, as well as being for fundraising, are of course also `community` events bringing together Holy Cross and the people of Sarratt.
In the past we have held such diverse events as an Old Time Music Hall; 50 gardens open around the village green in Sarratt; Concerts; the publication (in conjunction with the Sarratt Village Hall Trust) of a best selling book edited by Dennis Jenks entitled `The Draper of Watford` and a Village Cookbook comprising favourite recipes; the production of a `Sarratt Alphabet` poster; Charity Bridge Tournaments and Marathons; Scottish Dancing and the organization of some very `serious` Raffles.
The Friends` Logo
The Trust`s logo (see below) `the garland of friendship around the Holy Cross cross` symbolises the way in which all friends of this lovely church can help preserve it by supporting `The Friends`.
The inspiration for the garland within the logo was a Tudor button brooch found in the churchyard by Edward Ryley, a Rector of Sarratt, who was responsible for the major restoration work to the church in 1864-6.
THE FLOWER FESTIVAL
We have a stall at this popular event which takes place in June every year
THE SPONSORED BICYCLE RIDE
An annual event taking place in the lanes around Sarratt. All monies raised are divided equally between the The Friends and the Beds and Herts Historic Churches Trust
How are we organised?
The Trust, a formal Charitable Trust (The Friends of Holy Cross Church, Sarratt - UK Registered Charity Number 1018991), is governed by a Trust Deed dated 31 December 1992 which provides for between five and nine Trustees, including the Rector and Churchwardens as ex officio Trustees.
The elected Trustees must be approved by the PCC and are normally elected for a three year term.
Current Trustees are
Kate Hobhouse (Chair)
Patricia Parsons (Hon. Secretary)
Richard Cawdron (Treasurer)
Michele Du Saire (Ex Officio)
David Clough (Ex Officio)
Alan Poulton (Ex Officio)
These are of course supported by a host of other `Friends` and well wishers, too many to mention here.
All monies raised by The Friends must be used for `the preservation, repair, maintenance, restoration, replacement, improvement or ornamentation` of the fabric of the Holy Cross Church building.
The Trustees are subject to the rules of the Trust Deed and the Charity Commission. They must meet at least three times a year, the quorum being five. They must also report regularly to the PCC and present `audited` annual accounts to the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.
Becoming a `Friend`
All who wish to see Holy Cross Church preserved as a place of peace and beauty are friends of Holy Cross, whether they live or worship in Sarratt, have family associations with Holy Cross, or are a welcome visitor from near or far.
However if you would like to become more involved, give a donation or just wish to hear how we are getting on we encourage you to be added to the list of `The Friends`.
Please contact Pat Parsons - 01494-793331
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Friends of Holy Cross