Chairman's Report 2016

The Church has not had to rely on the Friends for any actual financial support over the last year. Such work that has been done has been financed from within church expenses and legacies. This has of course allowed us to retain funds for the future and our main fund raising event – the concert by the Backworth Male Voice Choir with the band – has not been required immediately. This concert was a great success and it is hoped to repeat it in the near future although it might not be with instrumental support.

We have become involved - in an assisting capacity – with the scheme organized by the local bell-ringers to restore ringing bells to the church tower. The intention is to install a full-circle peal of eight bells and, at the time of writing, the bell-ringers have commissioned a full survey and we all await the results for what could be an exciting development. I must stress that the Friends support is not financial. We have given a small donation to help finance the survey but our real help is to assist with Gift Aid. It will be a case of watch this space.

As you will see from the balance sheet we hold balances totalling just under £16000 and this will increase with this year’s subscriptions and what fund-raising can be held. This year will be what will probably be the last book-sale. It is very labour intensive and the financial results are getting smaller and smaller as other organizations leap on to this particular bandwagon. Many of these have better facilities for storage and sorting of books. We hope to run a short series of coffee morning/lunch events following the success of catering for the Heritage weekend so keep watching this space.

The committee is still trying to expand membership especially within the wider community. We are not a church sub-committee, we are an independent charity in the heritage/environment sector, so please publicize us amongst friends, relatives neighbours even everyone on your Christmas card list.

Without you all, the Friends could not flourish and with your help we can expand and bring to the notice of the general public the existence of this wonderful building.

Gordon Wightman, Chairman.