Friends of Long Sutton Church
FOLSC was established as a registered charity back on 16th February 2005 by a group of forward thinking villages, with the object of the charity being ‘to contribute towards the cost of projects for the preservation and maintenance of Holy Trinity Church, Long Sutton, Somerset. The main activities are the raising of funds from membership subscriptions, donations and social events in order to make grants to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) for projects covered by the object’. In less formal terms the aims of the Trustees are to raise monies by having fun, in order that we keep our beautiful Grade 1 listed Church open and in use in fine useable structural condition for the enjoyment of current villagers and for the generations that follow us here in the years to come.
Sadly, more than 400 churches have been forced to close in the last decade and a further 350 are currently at risk. A shortage of funding to keep churches in good repair is a key factor leading to closure. It is estimated that it will cost around £1billion to fund repairs to the remaining 16,000 C of E parish churches in the next five years. Funding for the repair and maintenance of church buildings has to be found by congregations as little help is provided by church authorities or Central Government. This is particularly difficult for churches in rural communities with limited worshippers. Hence the critical importance of FOLSC to lend a helping hand!
Since our formation we have been proud to assist the PCC in helping finance many key projects within the curtilage of Holy Trinity, and here are a few examples:
2009 General Church Structural repairs £4000
2010 Church heating/boiler repairs £686
2011 Roof repairs after lead theft £5500
2011 purchase and installation of security system £2831
2012 Electrical works and further roof repairs £620
2013 Repairs to the historic Rood Screen £260
2014 Quinquennial survey costs and works £3460
2018 Groundworks in Churchyard £2370
2021 Essential repointing of parts of the Church tower £30400
2022 Additional tower works, removal of shrub/repairs £3531
2023 Upgrading electrical wiring to current standards £9404
We can now only speculate where we would be today if a select group of villagers had not had the vision to create FOLSC back in 2005, but today our services are needed more than ever. If you are not a member, we would be delighted if you would consider joining. Membership fees are modest, with an annual single costing just £15, annual family £25, lifetime single £150 and lifetime family £250. Membership forms are available from the FOLSC noticeboard at the entrance to Holy Trinity Church, or just speak to one of the Trustees for further details. Otherwise, legacies or donations are always very welcome. We can guarantee, as a not-for-profit charity, and with no paid officials, that all monies received are carefully managed and spent where they matter!
In conclusion, whilst on the subject of our volunteer Trustees, many of our current team have served the charity for many years and are mostly now north (or well north!)of 70. The time has come for a changing of the guard, and we are in urgent need of new Trustees to join us and inject new ideas and enthusiasm to guide our charity into the future. Responsibilities are in no way demanding, and our meetings are always very social. If you are new to our community, this is a great way to get involved and put back something into village life! We would love to hear from you, and potential new Trustees are welcome to attend a Trustees meeting to see what it’s all about.
Chairman: David Aitken
Tel: 01458 241335
Secretary: Geoff Pringle
Tel: 01458 241371
Treasurer: Graham Stoddart-Stones
Tel: 07486 575922