In 1993 the Reverend Harry Pugh became our Rector and remained for nine productive years, founding The Friends of St Michael's in 1993. We would like to tell you something about this vitally important organisation.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
These remain as set out by Harry, namely to assist the Parochial Church Council in preserving, maintaining and repairing the fabric, fittings, furniture and ornaments of St Michael's Church, Hoole, and the churchyard.
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE PCC AND THE FRIENDS
Traditionally the Aims and Objectives were and remain the sole responsibility of the Parochial Church Council. The duties of the PCC are much wider than simply looking after the fabric of the church, but Harry's idea was that these tasks should be delegated to The Friends, leaving the PCC to get on with the primary job of running the parish, in all its many aspects: services, liturgy, pastoral matters, spreading the gospel of Christ in the wider community and so on. The Friends and Development Committee (to give its full title) is a sub-committee of the Parochial Church Council and is at all times to the PCC.
The Rector is President, TBA Chairman, Samantha Burns Treasurer and David Turner Secretary. The committee members are Robert Hawthornthwaite, Bill Carr, Marion Clarkson, Clive and Jane Elphick, Shelagh Bracewelll, Gill Slinger, Carole Bamber and Mike Redshaw. Churchwardens are ex officio members.
Twice yearly Newsletter to members, maintaining and improving the churchyard including grass cutting, relaying of paths, updating the memorial gardens, relaying flags from the west gate to the church porch, planning and organising events such as the Transit of Venus 2004, the Transit and Jubilee Celebrations 2012, concerts in the church including organ recitals, choral events and this year a very successful Jazz Concert. Faculties (Diocesan consents) have been obtained for various projects: painting the interior of the church, reordering of the altar and communion rail, renovation of the south chancel window, installation of the 2004 transit roundel, safeguarding the stained glass by covering with polycarbonate sheets, replacement of the double west gates. The list goes on and on!
All this work involves planning, implementing, money raising, overseeing work of independent contractors
CURRENT PROJECTS AND THE QUINQUENNIAL INSPECTION
A “Quinquennial” is a 5yearly inspection and full survey of the church, and the next one is due in 2013. The last one revealed a number of matters needing attention and these were prioritised for attention over the following five years. Fortunately, none was of major significance, and all have been addressed. With a building as old as St Michael's, there is no telling what may be found in the next survey. But we welcome the Quinquennial because it is the only way of ensuring that we deal with matters as they arise, and hopefully stop minor problems from becoming major. So as you read this, you can be assured that subject to the 2013 survey, everything to do with the fabric of the church is in good order, and the fittings, furniture and ornaments are likewise in good sound condition. Apart from the ongoing maintenance and upkeep there are a number of current projects including repainting of the sundial, and rest- oring the memorial garden. We are happy to report that a Faculty has just been received authorising work to the memorial garden, and a faculty is expected daily for repainting the sundial. Faculty applications are in course of preparation for two more notable projects. One is the installation of a free-standing 12 metre fibreglass flagpole, and the other is for the design and installation of a new weathervane to celebrate the connection between St Michaels, Jeremiah Horrocks and the Transit of Venus. Remember, St Michaels was the world-wide focus for the transit in 2004, and to a lesser but still major extent for the transit in June 2012, and our church is widely recognised as “the Transit Church”.
WHY NOT BECOME A MEMBER OF THE FRIENDS ?
Since the Friends of St. Michael's was founded, the membership has included friends from as far away as Japan and other such nations, but recruitment of new members is quite a priority because, inevitably over twenty years our membership has declined for various reasons but we believe that there are many who will welcome the chance to play a part in keeping St Michael's the unique, beautiful and well kept place it is. Membership is open to all for a donation of £10 per year as a minimum; many give a good deal more. Experience shows that people wish to belong for many different reasons. Perhaps they were baptised, christened, confirmed or married here, worshipped here years ago and have moved away, attended Sunday School or St Michael's Primary School. Perhaps loved ones have been laid to rest in our lovely churchyard. Some feel a connection because of our close associations with Jeremiah Horrocks and the Transit of Venus. The reasons are always personal, but all have a real love for the old place
If this is how you feel, please join us. Ask the Rector or any member of the Friends Committee, or pick up a leaflet. And keep an eye on the notice board in the porch (on the left as you come in). You will be most welcome, and more importantly, you will be contributing in a real way to the maintenance and support of this historical gem which is St Michael's Hoole, helping to keep it in the same good order it currently enjoys for future generations.