Friends of St. Mary's & St. John's
The Friends of St Mary's & St John's, Whitchurch, is a charity (Reg. Charity No. 1168335) that was set up in 2016 to bring together the communities of Whitchurch-on-Thames and Whitchurch Hill in support of the preservation of their two parish churches. People from all faiths and none are welcomed and for this reason the charity is run independently from day-to-day church life.
All money raised is contributed towards the maintenance, preservation and improvement of the two church buildings and their churchyards. This is for the benefit of current and future residents of Whitchurch and Whitchurch Hill.
The trustees of the Friends aim to arrange fund-raising and social activities regularly through the year, such as concerts, historical talks and coffee mornings. They also organise occasional working parties in the churchyards which members are invited to join.
What have the Friends paid for?
The following projects have been fully or partly funded by the Friends:-
- New noticeboard at St Mary's drive entrance - Dec 2017
- New sound system in St John's - Jan 2018
- New noticeboard at St John's - Aug 2018
- Extra security for new vestry window St John's - Aug 2018
- Restore St Mary's clock - Sept 2019
- Renovate railings at St John's - Oct 2019
- Essential tree work at St Mary's and St John's - Dec 2021 to Jun 2022
- New path with lighting at St John's - Sept 2022
- Upgrading of electrics and heating at St John's - Sept 2022
- Restoration of avenue of yews at St John's - Sept 2022
What fundraising and social events have been held?
- Harvest supper - Oct 2016
- Wine tasting evening - Feb 2017
- Roy Bailey Band concert - Sept 2017
- St John's Open Day - Jun 2018
- Evening of Music - Oct 2018
- Maidenhead Concert Band - Oct 2019
- Clock celebration - Oct 2019
- Wine tasting evening - Oct 2021
- Harvest Brunch & Social - Oct 2022
- Art Cafe - bi-monthly on Saturday morning at The Old Stables
Who are involved?
The charity's founding trustees were Keith Williams (Chairman), Gordon Painter (Treasurer), Yvonne Kerevan, Kit Marriott and Tim Suiter. The constitution was signed on 17th March 2016. The rector of the Langtree Team Ministry or his nominee is an ex-officio trustee, and two trustees may be nominated by the Whitchurch Parochial Church Council.
The trustees as at the AGM on 22nd October 2022 are Paul Witcher (Chairman), Gordon Painter (Treasurer), Theresa Elsome, Geoff Weir, Rev James Leach (ex-officio), Ken Baker (PCC nominee), Graeme Pearce (PCC nominee).
There are currently between 60 and 70 members, whose support is much appreciated. Most of them live locally but there are some members who live much further afield.
The Chairman of the Friends is Paul Witcher, tel:- 0118 984
4959 or email
The Secretary is Sally Woolhouse, tel:- 0118 984 4365 or email
We always want to welcome new members so why not join this very worthwhile local charity?
To join The Friends today, please download the membership form. We ask for a minimum annual subscription of £10 per person but many members give more.
Also, please consider leaving us a gift in your will, either for our work generally or for a specific project. We recommend that you consult your legal adviser to ensure that your wishes are suitably worded.
Photo credits: Ken Baker, Nick Brazil, Jim Donahue, Gill Williamson, Sally Woolhouse
Last updated 14th December 2022