I was speaking recently to a visitor and the topic of maintaining the church arose inevitably. It was only when I began to list the work we have achieved in the last six years that I began to appreciate just how much we have accomplished. A major project to replace mullions and repair worn stone (£108,000), a new boiler system (£50,000), re-wiring the nave, re-roofing the parish hall and giving it a mid-life makeover,  and of course putting the new roof on the church (£250,000). We were both a bit taken aback.


            Such an amount of work requires very considerable amounts of energy from our fabric committee and of course raising the funds to pay these enormous bills. We have been very fortunate indeed in having such a hard-working fabric committee who are so ably led and directed by their chairmen. The fundraisers and those who apply to the major trusts on our behalf keep telling me that unless we have access to some initial funding, little of this would have been possible. Everyone wants to know what we can put on the table before committing themselves, and this is where you, the Friends, have played such a vital part. By accumulating and stewarding your funds you provide us with the leverage to pull down funding from these other agencies. Without it, it would be almost impossible to launch and commission these vital pieces of work. So yet again, may I thank you for all that you do to make all this possible, and most of all to maintain this amazing church building which is such an extraordinary spiritual landmark in this part of the North East.


            What next? We meet with the architect and the contractors in early June to begin work on the windows. Much of the lead, and some of the mortar has become porous and when the rain drives in on a strong north or east wind we have to mop up the puddles. Not all the glass is affected, but chiefly the windows in the north transept and some in the chancel. Unless something unexpected or costly arises, we believe we have the funds to cover the cost of this project.  

As the architect meets with us, so he will undertake his five yearly inspection of the building (our quinquennial inspection). There is bound to be more work to be done – there always is – but we will be able to plan for it and budget for it in good time and undertake it when we have everything in place, which is a luxury we have not enjoyed for some years.


So thank you, Friends of St. George, for all you do and please keep up your good work – without which little of this would be possible.


Canon Adrian Hughes,

Vicar of S. Georges.



The AGM 2013.  Our President, Canon Adrian Hughes; Our Chairman, Canon Helen Brunton with our distinguished guest speaker, John Grundy, author, broadcaster and historian.