April 2021 News

Lisa Overton, Secretary of the Friends of St Mary’s, provides our latest news round-up:

Eastertime, spring on its way and winter behind us, all the conservation work of the church completed, the new bells soon to be hung and start ringing, this is surely a time of hope and celebration for the Friends of St Mary’s.

We hope that the ending of the lockdown will allow us to plan events for the summer and autumn, including a performance by the Bristol Male Voice Choir, so please keep an eye on our website, our Facebook page and the Hawkesbury Parish News.

We hope to hold the Friends of St Mary’s AGM on Sunday 25th July in the church, followed by choral evensong, so please keep the date free.


At the end of our successful project on the tower, we would like to thank the following for their wonderful financial support:

  • The Friends of St Mary’s, who raised and donated £55,000
  • The Enovert Trust (£20,000)
  • Gloucester Historic Churches Trust (£8,000)
  • The Sandra Trust (£8,000)
  • The Headley Trust (£5,000)
  • The Cottam Trust (£4,000)
  • The All Churches Trust (£2,300)
  • South Gloucestershire Council (£500)
  • The Renishaw Trust (£1,500)
  • The Langtree Trust (£500)
  • The Rausing Trust (£8,000)

I must add John and Stephanie Appleby and many other individuals who have been so generous. Many thanks too must go to the energetic fundraisers, especially Peter Setterfield, who organised the highly successful Waterloo Ball in 2015, to our Chairman Sir Ian Macfadyen and to Colin Dixon.


The Friends of St Mary’s, founded in 1980, exists to raise funds for the fabric and preservation of St Mary’s church, and is open to anyone to join (you don’t have to be a church-goer, though you would be very welcome!)

We have members from far afield who have particular affection for this special building and its history, and who value its place in the fabric of our village and community.

For details of membership, click here. 


Due to lockdown, all services will be online this month, hosted on the Badminton Benefice’s YouTube account here.

4th – 10am – Easter Sunday (from Hawkesbury)
11h – 10am – Easter 2 (from Leighterton)
18th – 10am – Easter 3 (from Didmarton)
26th – 10am – St Mark the Evangelist (from Lasborough)

PLUS Midweek services on Zoom – every Wednesday at 9.30am
(Please contact the Vicar if you would like to attend)

February 2021 News

Lisa Overton, Secretary of the Friends of St Mary’s, provides our latest news round-up:


We are at last seeing the church tower appearing from its strange white cladding and scaffolding and the excellent conservation done by Carrek of Bristol will be visible.


When Covid restrictions are lifted again, and spring is on its way, we hope to be able to gather to see all the improvements to the church, inside and out, which Colin’s photos show already. The new bells (should we call them ‘Applebells’?) are being tuned, the frame to hang them from prepared and before they are hoisted through the tower hatches, we hope the Bishop of Gloucester will come to bless them at a special service. So there is much to look forward to.


Many thanks to those kind supporters of hunkypunks and gargoyles who sent in donations for their conservation. We hope they will now be able to glare down on us and many future generations in Hawkesbury.


It’s that time of year again! We will be turning our attention to a good clear-up of the churchyard once the scaffolding comes down, and would appreciate some strong and energetic helpers when the time comes and Covid restrictions are eased. We need to clip and clear ivy, clean gulleys and gutters and weed paths. If you would like to help, please contact me.

With thanks to John Seager for allowing us to use his beautiful photograph of St Mary’s against the Milky Way, taken at three o’clock in the morning!


Due to lockdown, all services will be online this month, hosted on the Badminton Benefice’s YouTube account here.

6th – 10am – Presentation of Christ in the Temple (from Hawkesbury)
13th – 10am – Sunday before Lent (from Leighterton)
20th – 10am – 1st Sunday of Lent (from Oldbury)
27th – 10am – 2nd Sunday of Lent (from Badminton)

PLUS Midweek services on Zoom – every Wednesday at 9.30am
(Please contact the Vicar if you would like to attend)

January 2021 News

The 2020 AGM of the Friends of St Mary’s took place on Sunday 29th November by Zoom, delayed from the regular date in June by all the problems of the pandemic. Full minutes of the meeting will be circulated in due course.

Extracts from the Chairman’s address are given here. As he said, “Quite a lot has happened since our last AGM nearly 18 months ago”, and he reported on all the work that has been carried out to the tower, the vestry, and the commission of the new bells.

He reminded the Friends that 2020 was the 40th anniversary of their foundation and thanked all those who have guided the work of the Friends down the years. He remembered Friends of St Mary’s who have died during the past year, and a minute’s silence was held for them, including:

Canon Iain Marchant
Mary Broad
Judy Chancellor
Tony Harris

He paid tribute to the excellent work carried out by Carrek Conservation, and to the generous support of many individual donors and organisations, and especially to the Gloucester and Bristol Association of Bellringers and the Appleby family. He thanked Debbie Young for revising and expanding the Friends of St Mary’s website, Mike Bendry for his unstinting work as Treasurer and Colin Dixon for his persuasive fundraising.

The Chairman was delighted to announce that Mr John Appleby had been invited, and had accepted, an invitation to become a Vice-President of the Friends.

The Treasurer gave his financial report for the year 2019-20, which consisted of the substantial funds raised and received towards the major project of the tower conservation, while expenditure had been kept to the regular work of yew clipping and maintenance of the mower. The Friends had received donations towards the conservation of the Jenkinson banners and the installation of the new bells, which had been passed to the PCC. Mr Peter Setterfield was reappointed as Auditor of the Accounts which had been sent to the Charities Commission as usual.

The meeting reelected Sir Ian Macfadyen as Chairman, and the members of the committee en bloc:

Prof William Fairney (Vice-Chairman), Mr Michael Bendry (Treasurer), Mrs Lisa Overton (Secretary), Mr Peter Setterfield, Rev Pauline Setterfield, Mrs Linda Fairney, Mr Neil Fozard, Mrs Mary Beresford, Mrs Hilary Rogers, Mrs Debbie Young, Mr Michael Cox, Mr Colin Dixon.

And finally, finally: remember to continue supporting us through membership.


Membership assists us to support the church in a vital way, by helping to keep its fabric in good repair, while hopefully once again enjoying many different fund-raising events during the year, from mulled wine and mince pies in December to the delights of Jazz on the Lawn in July, and all sorts of other events along the way.

Annual Single Subscription: £10
Annual Double Subscription: £15
Annual Single Life Membership: £200
Annual Double Life Membership: £250

For further details of membership, see the “Join Us” page of this website. 

A happy, safe and peaceful new year to all Friends of St Mary’s.


3rd January – 9.30am – Holy Communion

10th January – 6pm – Evensong

17th January – 10am – Morning Praise

24th January – 5pm – Evensong

7th February – 9.30am – Holy Communion