August 2020

Lisa Overton, FOSM Secretary, writes:

From Historic Beginnings

On Tuesday 16th July 1980, the Friends of St Mary’s held its very fist Annual Meeting and stated its aim:

  1. to assist St Mary’s PCC to maintain the structure of the church in a consistent, good state of replair
  2. to assist the PCC to preserve and increase the beauty of the interior of the church and its furnishings

After opening a bank account on 5th June with no money at all, the Friends had already raised £758.98 from a Flower Festival, a concert by the Tyndale Choral Society and from other donations. It was noted that the exterior stonework of the tower was in need of conservation, and it would be an advantage to build a new toilet in the churchyard.

Work in Progress

The scaffolding goes up ready for repairs to the tower to commence (Photo credit: Lisa Overton)

Well, forty years on, and many tens of thousands of pounds later, the Friends have achieved so much for St Mary’s – nave roof, windows, gutter, doors, oil tank, tombs, carpet, funds for insurance and heating when no other sources were available, and much, much more. And now we begin, at long last, the conservation of the tower masonry and significant improvements to the vestry, while awaiting the fixing of the new bells. It will be very exciting to see the scaffolding going up and work begin, and it is hoped to have these projects complete by the end of the year. We will provide regular updates on the progress of the work.

As mentioned in 1980, a toilet is still needed, and we hope that when the tower work is complete, this can be our next project. Our architect and the Diocese of Gloucester will help to find the right solution, which we hope could be shared by visitors to both the church and the cemetery.

Friends of St Mary’s AGM 2020

Owing to Covid-19, we were unable to hold our AGM in the usual way in June, but the committee has set a date for Sunday 22nd November at 4.30pm in St Mary’s Church, to be followed by evensong at 6pm. If conditions are not favourable for a usual meeting, we will arrange a Zoom meeting and ensure that all Friends have access to the agenda.


As we celebrate the start of our latest major project, for which we have been raising funds for the last nine years, could we encourage everyone to continue to support St Mary’s through the Friends by renewing subscriptions or taking out new ones – a perfect gift for a member of your family. Visit the “Join Us” page for more details of how to renew your subscription or to join the Friends.



Author: Debbie Young

English author of warm, witty cosy mystery novels including the popular Sophie Sayers Village Mysteries and the Gemma Lamb/St Bride's School series. Novels published by Boldwood Books, all other books by Hawkesbury Press. Represented by Ethan Ellenberg Literary Agents. Founder and director of the Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival. Course tutor for Jericho Writers. UK Ambassador for the Alliance of Independent Authors. Lives and writes in her Victorian cottage in the heart of the beautiful Cotswold countryside.

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