drawing by the late Anthony Hill
copyright Helena Hill 1997

The Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church - What's New?

from the March 2017 magazine

Leatherhead Parish Church Hall Saturday 11 March 2017, 7 pm for a prompt start at 7.30 pm Teams of 6-8: form your own, or join with others
Supper will be: Lasagne with salad and crusty bread (Vegetarian Lasagne available to pre-order)
For further details, please telephone L376640
To reserve places or a table for the Quiz - please send to:
Mrs Jackie Hampton, Amberleaf, 34 St Mary’s Road, Leatherhead, KT22 8EY, stating name, address inc postcode, tel no and email address, enclosing your cheque (£12.50 per person).
Please enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope for return of your ticket(s)


The Friends are pleased to announce that in conjunction with the LRA we will be repeating last year’s highly successful Vintage Bus Rally and Leatherhead Open Gardens. Hopefully the weather will be kinder to us this year! Meanwhile we urgently need to add to our stock of open gardens.
Gardens can be large or small, formal or informal, combining a love of flowers, trees or shrubs or given over to the cultivation of fruit or vegetables.
ALL will be of interest to people with a love of horticulture or seeking new ideas or designs.
Would you be prepared to volunteer? Perhaps you know of a neighbour, friend or family member in the Ashtead, Leatherhead, Fetcham “triangle ” whom we could approach?
If so please contact Chris Evans, Chairman FLPC L372169 or Cheryl Allen Chair of the LRA Environmental Committee L370091.

Tue 20 Dec 7.30pm L Parish Church Christmas by Candlelight, arranged by LeDFAS. The concert will feature music by the Brandenburg Singers & Brass Ensemble. It will include some seldom performed gems as well as readings and many old favourites. Following the concert there will be wine, soft drinks and mince pies in the Parish Church Hall.

Tickets include a donation to the Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church. Tickets £15 - call L376640 or click on booking form

For other news see below

"Winning Tricks" - from the December 2016 magazine

No...not a Birthday Party for two year olds but a serious business as 60 Bridge Players from North Surrey gathered at this year's annual Friends Bridge Tea in the Parish Church Hall on Wednesday 9th November.

One of several objectives meriting the coveted "2" Balloon was to win their trick with the smallest numbered card in the pack.

So it was "eyes down" until at the half way stage a delicious tea was served of handmade sandwiches and home-baked cakes.

Thanks are due to Fran Fleming and Jackie Hampton and all members of the Friends Committee whose collective hard work made for a most enjoyable afternoon of Bridge as well as raising additional funds for repairs currently being undertaken in the Church.

Chris Evans

from the November 2016 magazine

The Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church treasure Leatherhead's most beautiful mediaeval building and are determined to follow the example of previous generations, across the centuries, who handed it over to our care.
We are eternally grateful for the generosity of our members who support our efforts to maintain the Church and its surroundings.

However, sometimes nature conspires against us and the corrosive agencies of time and weather wreak havoc with our intentions.
We are currently facing the challenges of the recent collapse of the vestry floor and storm damage to the trees and fences in the Churchyard.

We need your help, both in gaining new members and assisting us in organising fund-raising events.
If you are already a member we will be writing to you shortly inviting you to renew your membership from 1st January 2017.
If you are not a member and would like to know more before joining us, please contact our Membership Secretary, Fran Fleming, on L375957.
Similarly, if you have friends or relations living in the area who might be interested in joining or giving of their time to assist us - in whatever way suits them - we would be delighted to hear from them.
Chris Evans
Chairman of the FLPC (L372169

Leatherhead Open Gardens - June 2016 Sponsored by the Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church and the Leatherhead Residents' Association - from the July 2016 magazine

Sunday 12th June dawned under cloudy skies and by 10.00am it was raining hard, dampening the hopes of the fourteen garden owners participating in this year's Leatherhead Open Gardens - all of whom had worked so hard to bring their gardens to peak perfection in the weeks before.

The event had also been timed to coincide with a Vintage Bus Rally with two former London Transport Green Line buses "commandeered" to take visitors on a loop between Randalls Road,

Ashtead, and Givons Grove Estate with stops along the way at gardens on display and ending at the Parish Church where a delicious selection of sandwiches cakes and cream teas was served throughout the afternoon. Finally the clouds began to clear and the sun tempted more people out. Riding in buses last seen on routes in Surrey thirty to forty years ago also proved a great draw and just as big a surprise to those out for a Sunday stroll! Happily most of the gardens reported a steady stream of visitors, helped no doubt by the novel means of transport. We would like to express our thanks to our visitors, to all the garden owners, our team of helpers in the Parish Church and last but not least the vintage bus owners and drivers who came from all over South East England to make it such a unique day.

Chris Evans

Our 2016 Annual General Meeting took place in the Parish Church Hall on 22 May 2016. Afterwards Paul Pickering gave a talk on The Benedictines.

Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church Chairman’s Report May 2016 - from the July 2016 magazine

Many of our members reading this report will be familiar with its more regular content. Once again we have raised a significant amount of money during the last twelve months to assist in maintaining the fabric and grounds of the Parish Church. This has been the result of hard work by your Committee and continuing support of fund raising events from our members. All of this money has been used judiciously: to tackle work which we have suggested to the Parochial Church Council (PCC) as being necessary or for which they have approached us for help. Any excess has been added to our reserves in anticipation of longer term needs identified in the last Quinquennial Review. Full details are contained in the Financial Accounts.

What has changed is that we are a big step closer to knowing what the PCC would like to do to fulfil their aim of "putting the Parish Church at the centre of the Community." This includes not only their priorities but also the timescale and potential costs. As anticipated, the re-ordering will involve welcome improvements in flooring, heating and lighting. More of the pews will give way to flexible seating, enabling the Church to be used for events which it currently cannot accommodate and on more days of the week. Such investment will, in our view, enhance our chances of guaranteeing a future for this historic building and passing it on to the next generation in a state which they might consider more "fit for purpose." The active involvement of the FLPC is being sought and we will be allowed to comment in detail on changes to the fabric of this cherished building.

What is clear is that a prodigious amount of money will need to be raised and immense effort expended to deliver such a project within the planned two year timescale. Although a proportion of what will be required has been identified, the investment required would dwarf anything attempted by the FLPC in the past and would be beyond our current limited people resources. Whereas we might aim to double or even triple our annual targets the role of the FLPC will be predominantly supportive and complementary to those of the main PCC Funding Team. We believe our strength in attracting support lies in the non-denominational nature of our charity stressing our objective of assisting with the maintenance and enhancement of the building itself.

One other major development this year will greatly assist us as work proceeds on the Church. The FLPC has been the beneficiary of two very significant legacies. We are amazingly privileged. It is also a tremendous tribute to the FLPC to have been chosen by people associated with the Church in the past as a vehicle for ensuring the building and its surroundings are adequately protected and maintained. Their legacies will give us great flexibility both in the choice of what we can support and how immediately.
We will do our best to meet their expectations.

Last but by no means least a word about our loyal membership base. This continues to decline for reasons over which we have no control. We need help from you in significantly re-building and extending our membership base. This means publicising the FLPC to friends, neighbours and acquaintances not currently involved and into new areas of Leatherhead and surroundings where we have no representation. We are currently putting effort into revising our publicity material. Even more pressing is the need to be able to call on resources to assist with a larger annual fundraising programme.

If you have any thoughts or ready contacts please share them with any member of the Committee.
Thank you again for your support. We look forward to seeing you at any, or all, of our future fundraising events.
Chris Evans Chairman FLPC

IT WAS  QUIZ TIME AGAIN, with Quizmaster Frank Haslam, on Saturday 5th March 2016. Once again good fun appeared to be had and we raised over £600 towards the work of the Friends

Brandenburg Choral Festival, Saturday 9th April 2016
2.30pm Guided Walk: Somerset Ho., Inns of Court, Temple, Fleet St, Drury La, Covent Gdn
4pm Fauré Requiem, St Paul’s Covent Garden (own travel)
Part of the proceeds will be donated to the Friends of Leatherhead Parish Church. Tickets £20. This proved to be another excellent outing. Our guide knew her stuff, the weather was kind to us and the concert was just the thing to end our afternoon. The choir singing all around us was magical.

Our 2015 Annual General Meeting took place in the Reeves Room of the Parish Church Hall at 7.30pm on Friday 22nd May 2015 The Rector of Leatherhead was our speaker.

The Friends are grateful to the Brandenburg Choral Festival for enabling us to share in the proceeds from their concert at St Paul's Covent Garden on 22nd March 2015, which a large number of us attended. It was a wonderful occasion in a most interesting setting. Some of us went up earlier in the day in order to visit 2 Temple Place, not far from the concert venue to see the new exhibition Cotton to Gold: Extraordinary Collections of the Industrial North West. The magnificent mansion has been transformed into a casket for the exquisite treasures of an extraordinary group of Lancashire magnates. As the cotton mills boomed, bringing development and deprivation hand in hand, this group of prominent industrialists privately, and sometimes secretively, poured their wealth into some of the finest and most astonishing collections in the country.

We had a special bonus that day as we were able to view Bruce Denny's statue "Conversion of Saint Paul", which had been unveiled by Dame Judi Dench in the Church grounds the previous Friday.

June Robinson

Renewal of FLPC memberships Notices went out in November 2014 inviting renewal of FLPC memberships. We should like to encourage more people interested in maintaining our beautiful Parish Church both for this and future generations to join us and, if possible, play a role, however modest, in organising our fund raising activities.

Even if you don’t feel able to commit to a very modest annual contribution – there is no minimum although £10 is suggested – you may wish to help us with your time. We would welcome hearing from you at any time; contact numbers at the back of each month’s Parish Magazine.

Our popular Bridge Tea in the Parish Hall in November raised over £950. Many thanks to Fran Fleming and the wonderful team who put on this jewel of an event.

Our Open Gardens Day on Sunday 8 June proved a resounding success thanks to the combination of perfect weather, months of hard work by the garden owners to produce such wonderful displays of their art, and the cream teas served to garden visitors in the cool and calm of the Parish Church.

Our thanks to Nicky Osborne and the combined FLPC and Church catering team as well as those who manned the Plant Stall outside. The grand sum of over £1,700 raised from ticket sales, raffle, and refreshments will be split equally between The Friends and our co-sponsors the Leatherhead Residents Association. Plans are already in hand to open a brand new selection of Leatherhead Gardens at the beginning of June 2015.
Chris Evans - from the August 2014 Parish Magazine

Joe Parry Remembered the Friends

Joe Parry died on 13th March this year. His father was a Master Tailor who had premises where the Edmund Tylney pub now stands. When the pub opened Joe told the manager that he had lived on the site and was presented with a complimentary pint.

Joe was a member of 1st Leatherhead Scouts. His first job was as an office boy with the Electricity Generating Company in Bridge Street. At the age of 19, finding life too quiet in Leatherhead, he moved to Battersea. Two years later, on a visit to Canada to see the Toronto Exhibition, he contracted polio and was completely paralysed for over 10 months. Recovering, albeit with the loss of the use of one hand, he retrained as a draughtsman, drawing with his good hand and positioning draughting tools with the other.

He worked for the Hydro Electric Power Commission of Ontario and in 1942 met and married Gladys. They came to England in 1946, living firstly in Copthorne Road and then Kingscroft Road. In later life, widowed, he lived at Skeet House and latterly in a nursing home in Dorking. He worked at H R Nash doing repairs and then at Ronsons. He had a keen interest in motor cycles and, with Gladys in a sidecar, travelled to the Isle of Man and all over Europe to attend events.

He was a keen member of the Local History Society and an avid film club member, when not making beer and wine. His attachment to Leatherhead extended to supporting the Friends of the Parish Church and some may recall him and Brian Hennegan giving most interesting and entertaining talks after an AGM.
Joe asked for his ashes to be placed in the Parry family grave in our churchyard, which the Friends helped to locate. The Friends are grateful for the just over £4,600 left to us by Joe. It is not every funeral ceremony that concludes with the Red Flag!
Frank Haslam - from the August 2014 Parish Magazine

Previous reports of our activities