Friends of St. Mary's Church, Shrawley
The Friends committee was founded in 1972 to support Shrawley Church following the amalgamation of the Parish of Shrawley and the Parish of Great and Little Witley with Hillhampton into one ecclesiastical Parish of Shrawley and Witley. The original parish groups decided to form their own local church committees to look after day-to-day matters, responsible to the Parochial Church Council as the legal organisation.
In 2015, after a number of changes, the Parish of Shrawley and Witley was linked into a combined Benefice with the Parish of Abberley and the Parish of Teme Valley North [Knighton, Lindridge, Stockton, Pensax], giving the new incumbent the ministry of nine church buildings. The work of the local groups became even more important to the running of day-to-day operations; though co-ordination through the PCC is essential.
The main work of the Friends today is to raise funds for the maintenance and operation of Shrawley Church, including major projects. It arranges, either alone or with other village organisations, a range of fund-raising events each year. In 2006 when the church roof needed repair, the Friends bid successfully for grants of £53,000 and, with help from the other village groups, raised over £20,000 locally.
Anyone can be a Friend of St. Mary's. There is no residence or financial qualification and all help is welcome. Work is managed by a committee elected annually and meeting on average, 4 times a year. The Priest-in-charge and the Churchwardens are members as of right.
The current project list includes the provision of mains water (completed in June 2018!), replacement of the ageing central heating boiler, installation of a toilet, and repairs to the porch roof and the guttering/downpipes. There's always something......
Anyone who would like to help with event organisation should contact the Committee chairman. To arrange donations, ad hoc or regular, please talk to the Treasurer.
The Friends also run a '100 Club' with a monthly prize money draw. For more information on this and how to join, please contact the secretary, Paul Gorrod.