Friends of St Swithuns FoSS


                                                                                             New Year 2010
Dear Friend of St Swithun’s,
Finally you have something to show for all your generosity and patience. A trench has been dug, a pit excavated, a pump and other equipment installed and a connection made to the main sewerage system. All of this is, of course, invisible but I promise you it shows up on the invoices. Happily you can both see and use the smart new facilities in the tower room though yours truly has yet to manage a tour of inspection. My spies tell me we have a brand new floor, the two toilets are heated and there is a state of the art hot water boiler at the sink. We appear to have moved with one bound from the middle ages to semi modernity.
So, on behalf of the FoSS committee and everyone who uses or visits the church, thank you. And good wishes for a very happy new year.
Despite everyone’s sterling efforts we haven’t raised enough to complete all the work originally envisaged. We can certainly pat ourselves on the back for the progress we’ve made. But then we must take a deep breath and continue fundraising. New committee members are urgently needed armed with enthusiasm and fresh ideas for generating money - contact anyone on the committee if you’d like to volunteer.
The FoSS annual programme will start as usual with our AGM followed by the Burns’ Night celebration in the church on Monday 25 January from 7:30pm. The Exeter Singers have kindly agreed to give us a concert (again, in the church) on Tuesday March 30 and our summer garden party will be at Parsonage House on Saturday July 10. We’ll circulate details of tickets and times of spring and summer events as soon as they’re confirmed but don’t forget to put the dates on your 2010 calendar.
We’re pruning the music at Burns’ Night this time as everyone thought it dragged on a bit last year - Cyril and Mike will whip us along and give us a couple of solos. It’ll give more time to sit and enjoy haggis, tatties and neeps, followed by cranachan, cakes and bakes. Patrick’s been relieved as quizmaster as he’s run out of Scottish history questions. Your efforts to solve Jill’s somewhat less cerebral brain-teaser will be lubricated with the customary whisky punch. Correct solutions (and there’ll be lots) will be entered in a prize draw. You can get tickets (£6) for Burns’ Night from Cyril Rowsell or on the door - please do join us.
Jill Whitten


Friends of St. Swithun’s (FoSS)

Friends of St. Swithun’s (FoSS) was set up as a charity in 2004 with the object of raising funds for the maintenance of the fabric of the church. Members of FoSS are not necessarily churchgoers or indeed, Christians, but all are people with an interest in preserving Woodbury’s most ancient, interesting and beautiful building. FoSS wants to involve everyone in the village in looking after our church and making it more usable for a wider range of village activities.

Change is always challenging. St Swithun’s has endured through centuries of turbulent times, gracefully presiding over the community from its slight eminence above the green - a focal point for the village and a link to its past. But the problems it faces now are perhaps the most serious in its long history.

In the past the Anglican community was large and wealthy enough to support the upkeep of its enormous stock of historic buildings. Those days are gone. Unless St. Swithun’s can attract a wider group of supporters our lovely church building faces mounting problems. It gets nothing from the Diocese or the District Council towards its maintenance. It really does need Friends. By becoming one you will be helping to provide:
• repairs and improvements to the fabric of the building
• vital basic work like plumbing and kitchen facilities
• careful interior alterations to make it more accessible and usable
• resources for urgent major restoration projects (eg. the bell-frame)

As a Friend you will get:
• a regular bulletin with advance notice of FoSS events
• detailed progress reports on church improvements
• your name inscribed in the Friends’ Book kept in the Church
• annual Friends’ get-together (lunch or dinner)
You will also have the satisfaction of contributing to a priceless community inheritance with the knowledge that future generations will benefit from this key part of our history as much as so many have in the past.

You can get more information about FoSS and how you can become a Friend of St Swithun’s by contacting Jill Whitten on 01395 233121 or emailing

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