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These churches haven’t remained friendless

by
14 March 2014

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From Mr Roger Evans

Sir, - We are grateful to the Revd Maggie Durran for her mention of the Friends of Friendless Churches (Gazette, 7 March), but may we please correct any misapprehension that may have arisen?

The Friends are clearly driven by the need to conserve the 47 buildings in our care in England and Wales. We stepped in to prevent their demolition or abandonment.

We are, however, certainly not just about buildings. In at least 17 of the churches, we have thriving groups of local Friends: we can pick out Llanfihangel Rogiet and Llanfair Kilgeddin in Monmouthshire; Wood Walton and Papworth St Agnes in Cambridgeshire; Caldecote in Hertfordshire; Mundon in Essex; Boveney and Hardmead in Buckinghamshire; Milland in Sussex; Matlock Bath in Derbyshire; Llanfaglan near Caernarvon; Ynyscynhaearn near Portmadog; Sutterby in Lincolnshire; Long Crichel, Dorset; Tremaen, Ceredigion; Brownshill, Gloucestershire; and Allington, Wiltshire.

Our stepping in to take these churches into care has been the catalyst for lively local groups to emerge. Several of them are prodigious fund-raisers, and they put the church in question to all sorts of imaginative additional uses - everything from harvest suppers and services on the patronal festival, to concerts, flower festivals, talks by the architect on how repairs were tackled, retreats, and history days.

Our churches are nearly always open to visitors during daylight hours, and particularly so for Heritage Open Days. Do join us (at www.friendsoffriendlesschurches.org.uk), and find out more about our work.

ROGER EVANS
Chairman
The Friends of Friendless Churches
St Ann's Vestry Hall
2 Church Entry
London EC4V 5HB

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