Founded in 1933, the Friends of St Mary’s Society provides funds for the maintenance of the fabric of the Church and for carrying out improvements and adornments. It is a Registered Charity (No 253119) and is administered by the Chairman, Hon Secretary and Hon Treasurer and twelve committee members with the Rector as President.
The Work of the Friends of the Church
Although a church has stood on this site for 800 years, the present building was remodelled 500 years ago under the supervision of John Wastell, master mason for King’s College Chapel, Cambridge, and externally apart from the spire has remained unchanged. Internally, over the years, many of the original tombs, chapels, pews and colouring have been removed and Victorian stained glass and the re-erected Chancel Screen and the Rood have had a great effect on the interior.
Whilst the Friends have been responsible for many practical schemes, such as the inner doors of the West Porch and the voice reinforcement system, they have also striven to bring colour and beauty to the church. The last years of the 20th century were very fruitful, with the provision of embroidered kneelers, colourful banners and the creation of the Chapel of Remembrance. We aim to use local craftsmen and women in all our projects and are careful to ensure that the schemes blend happily with the spirit of the building as it was conceived long ago.
This year we have made a major contribution to the Building Programme by funding the Welcome Furniture which is a great asset to the Church.
Joining the Friends
This year we are launching a ‘ Year of Invitation’ to everyone and we do hope that you will join us so that we can continue to contribute to the beautification of our Church. See below:
You can help us by joining the Society. Membership includes parishioners and other supporters, residents of Saffron Walden and many from further afield. Becoming a member helps to ensure that our work can continue under the guidance of the committee of the society. Membership costs a minimum of £5 per year (single) or £8 (family) payable by 1st April each year. Contact us to find out more or download our leaflet which includes an application form here.