The Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church - Chairman's Report at the 2011 AGM

Friends Chairman's Report 2011 This has been another year of intensive Fund Raising for the Parish Church. A total of 1,849 was raised from events, which have become an annual tradition such as our Quiz and Bridge Tea. To this must be added a magnificent 980 from our summer event, which, appropriately enough in July 2010, celebrated all things French, with some astonishing Cabaret contributions from hitherto unknown local stars of opera, drama, music, and comedy as participants tucked into a menu of French Salad and Coq au Vin.

We have also been very active in seeking new members of the FLPC. We inevitably lose members each year as their circumstances change or they move out of the area. It is essential therefore not only to attract new members in their place but that overall membership continues to edge up. Two campaigns have been run, targeting specific areas of Leatherhead and as part of this report I would like to bid a particular welcome to members joining us during the year. As at 31 March 2011 our membership stands at 145. The total sum raised this year from subscriptions was 2,169 to which must be added an expected 522 from Gift Aid.

Our aim, as always, is to build up funds, which can be used in the short and medium term for maintenance and improvement of the amenities of the Parish Church. The higher the level of anticipated expenditure the more advantageous it is to accrue these funds in advance of the expenditure being incurred. This has very much been the case this year as estimates have been sought by the PCC for the significant repairs which have become necessary to the internal plasterwork and in particular to the mediaeval Font. We have undertaken to make a substantial contribution to this work, which your Committee has been urging for some time, and we are glad that work has already begun on the repairs. The problem of damp and water infiltration will hopefully be definitively resolved during the summer.

Meanwhile we decided this year to top up our annual contribution to maintenance of the graveyard to 3,000. Many people have commented on the calmness and beauty of the graveyard, particularly this spring, in no small way due to Frank Haslam's regular Saturday working parties.

As always I end my Chairman's Report by thanking all members of the FLPC Committee and our part-time helpers without whose continuing hard work and creative ideas it would be impossible to maintain our enviable record of fund raising: Frank Haslam, Jackie Hampton, Peter Ford, June Robinson, Jennie McFarlane, Fran Fleming and Sonya Grove who in addition being responsible for Finance, Administration, Events, Membership or Marketing can turn their hands at a moment's notice to almost anything which is required. Special thanks too to Bernard Salsbury for the assistance he provides in preparing our claims for Gift Aid.

Chris Evans, Chairman