The Friends of Evesham Parish Church and Bell Tower (Registered Charity: 507102)
The Friends were formed in 1977 with the aim of helping to preserve these beautiful and historic buildings for future generations. St Lawrence's Church was declared redundant on in December 1977 and the two congregations, ie St Lawrence and All Saints, were 'amalgamated'. The title of 'The Friends' was therefore eventually amended to exclude St Lawrence, by referring to The Church (rather than Churches) and Bell Tower. Registration as a charity was completed early in 1978. The Bishops of Worcester have over the years, consented to be Patron of the Friends. Over the years the Friends made significant financial contributions to help improve the fabric of the Church, and replace the bell ropes. In 2014 the Friends made a major contribution to the Bell Tower Appeal, and purchased two wooden seats now installed in the Churchyard and much enjoyed by locals and visitors alike. In 2017 they made a generous contribution to the long overdue refurbishment of the kitchen in Church House.
Sadly, the Friends disbanded in March 2020. Below is a copy of the President's report presented at the 2020 Annual Parochial Church Meeting:
FRIENDS OF EVESHAM PARISH CHURCH AND BELL TOWER REPORT The last 12-months have been a significant period for the Friends. A gradually declining membership coupled with few, if any, younger people joining the organisation led some of the Committee to conclude that the future was unsustainable, and that disbanding was sadly the obvious option. Many long-term members were also beginning to recognise this. An Extraordinary General Meeting in January formally laid this proposal before the membership and the proposal was accepted: albeit with regret, but without objection. The various stages of winding-up the charity will be completed by the end of March. It was agreed that its current surplus funds should firstly satisfy its already-agreed commitments to projects in All Saints that have not yet been undertaken, plus an amount for the future revising and reprinting the current Church Guidebook, itself a Friends’ initiative. It was further agreed that any surplus beyond these commitments should be divided equally between two associated charities, the Evesham Abbey Bell Tower Appeal Trust and the Evesham Abbey Trust. The Friends can look back on a very successful 43 years of existence with pride, having contributed many thousands of pounds towards significant work in and to All Saints and the Bell Tower. Chris Povey, President, On behalf of The Friends’ Committee.