Friends of the Parish Church
Lincoln Cathedral visit on Friday 9th September 2022
A group of The Friends went by coach up to Lincoln on 9th September and as you can imagine the Cathedral was a sombre but awesome experience. All tours were cancelled and there was a sense of peace throughout the building. Hushed voices as we all absorbed the atmosphere. Lots of candle stations as well as the condolence book and movingly, regular short readings and prayers were said echoing through the whole Cathedral. It was not the planned visit however it is one we will never forget.
We can recommend the Cathedral Cafe where they had prepared a room just for us. The service and food was excellent. We had morning coffee on arrival and an excellent lunch later, some of us even had tea before we left.
The afternoon was spent by many at the Castle where we saw the Magna Carta and visited the Castle Prison, not a place you would want to stay for more than a very short visit. The views from the Parapet where fabulous, you can see for miles and everything looked so green.
On this trip we were joined by Christine Lawrence who was our Treasurer for a time but now lives in York, it was so good to see her.
Our thoughts during the day were of Lawrence Gooderham our late Chairman who’s funeral was on the 7th. He had been looking forward to joining us bless him.
Watch this space for news of our spring Cathedral visit, book early to get a place on the coach.
As many of you already know our Chairman passed away on the 9th August in Addenbrookes Hospital. Lawrence was a member of the Friends for over 50 years and our Chairman since 1981. His enthusiasm for The Friends was infectious and we all felt his loyalty and kindness . I was privileged to work alongside Lawrence as Secretary for 10 years and I, like you all, will miss him immensely.
Lawrence was particularly fond of our Friends' prayer which I share with you here:
We thank Thee O Father, for the precious heritage of our Church of St Mary the Virgin, and for the privilege of Enrolment as Friends of Thy House of Prayer.
We pray that, increasingly, we may value, and use this sacred trust, and with loving reverence, care for Thy House.
May it become more and more, a spiritual home, and a means of blessing to this town and neighbourhood.
Guide us as Friends of the Church, in all our efforts for the promotion of Thy glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Lawrence’s funeral took place on Wed 7th September 2022 in St Mary’s Church but can be viewed on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/KcS1pcX86lw
Cathedral Trip to Bury St Edmunds 22nd June 2022
Twenty five of The Friends of the Parish Church had a visit to Bury St Edmunds Cathedral on 22nd June in bright sunshine. We had interesting and informative Tour Guides and enjoyed our visit.
We then had lunch together in the Edmund Room of the Cathedral where we were joined by The Venerable Duncan Green and his wife Janet.
After lunch the group went their own ways enjoying all that was on offer including the fabulous Flower Festival in the Cathedral, the Abbey Gardens and Ruins, the Town itself, the Market and of course the shops.
We look forward to our trip to Lincoln in September.
Cathedral Trip to Ely 28th April 2022
Above photos taken on our trip to Ely Cathedral on Thursday 28th April 2022. Click on each to enlarge.
Our first Cathedral trip after the long pandemic break was enjoyed by all.
Excellent Guides showed us around in the morning before we enjoyed lunch together in the Almonry.
The afternoon was free to wander around the bustling market full of fabulous produce straight off the Fens and take a walk down to the river to check out all the boats moored in the marina with the opportunity to walk back via the extensive Cathedral grounds.
All this in beautiful sunshine, what a treat.
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. We normally hold our AGM on the second Sunday in September to coincide with St Mary's Patronal Festival.
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.
In 2018 we made a major contribution to the Building Programme by funding the Welcome Furniture which is a great asset to the Church.
Spring 2022 Newsletter
Spring 2020 Newsletter
Spring 2019 Newsletter
Spring 2018 Newsletter
Spring 2017 Newsletter
Joining the Friends
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 via the Parish Office to find out more or download our leaflet which includes an application form.