President's Report 2014



The last year has demonstrated the joys and the demands of caring for a Grade 1 listed building. We planned to renew the leadwork in the windows in the north transept, and at least one of the plain glass windows in the sanctuary. We had carefully planned for and scheduled the project and the work went ahead according to plan, inside the time limit, and within budget. What we had not planned for was the unexpected! One of the stone pilasters which was secured during the last major renovation to the spire, came loose and fell onto and through the south aisle roof – only recently repaired and restored. On a building like this there are some things we can plan for, and there are other things that just happen, and we have to deal with them too.


Well in the end it was a good news story. It was good news because the steeplejacks surveyed the whole structure and ensured nothing else was going to drop off. It was good news because they did some running repairs, including painting the weathercock! It was good news most of all because the Friends of St. George was on hand to helped to pay for some of this work, and offer a loan if necessary (it wasn’t). For a church like ours with major building projects and no reserves, the Friends of St.George is an absolutely vital part of funding both for the expected and most especially, for that which is not!


And looking ahead…Well there will be more stonework to repair and replace in the next ten years. The windows in the transept are not the only ones which were beginning to leak. But we now have a period of consolidation and the Friends have two very major tasks. The first is to continue to raise funds for the work ahead. Part of this comes from subscriptions from loyal supporters like you, but some will also come from fundraising efforts, like the booksale in August. The second is to enlarge the membership. I should love to see the Friends undertake a recruitment drive which might double the number of members in twelve months. It might need advice and assistance, but if we can cast our net wide, then the burden of responsibility is cast upon many more shoulders, and the weight feels a little lighter.


So once again, thank you for all your invaluable support to help maintain this remarkable building. Most especially, thank you for helping us fund both the planned and the unexpected in these last twelve months.


Canon Adrian Hughes,

Vicar of St. George’s Church, Cullercoats