FOSJ AGM 22/23 - 28 JULY 2023

MINUTES OF MEETING

Welcome

Paul welcomed everyone to the meeting and thanked members and guests for joining us. 

Chair’s Report

Paul gave a brief history of the work and events the committee had undertaken to date. He explained that the FOSJ had formed to breathe new life into the church and to bring the local community together. Paul thanked everyone involved for their efforts.

Paul also mentioned that our efforts had been recognised and we had been awarded runner-up in the community group category by the Pride on Fenland Awards, and we had won the CCT Volunteer of the Year Award – Eastern Region.

Treasurer’s Report – see Annex A

Adrian detailed our finances for the 2022/2023 year. He stated that copies of our accounts summary are available to see if required. Highlights from his report included:

  • We had been awarded a grant of £7500.00 from Cambridgeshire Community Foundation
  • Both awards came with monetary payments.
  • We have been successful in this year’s application to CCF and have been awarded a further grant of £6200.00.

CCT LCO

Paul introduced Karen Moore, our Local Community Officer. Karen then spoke to the meeting thanking Paul and the committee for their hard work, turning what had been her worst church into a successful entity, showing others within the CCT community what is possible. 

Constitution and Charity Status

Paul explained that our success means that we need to grow as an organisation. Due to our incomings being over £5000 we will now need to register with the Charity Commission to gain charitable status. The most appropriate way to do this is to become an Unincorporated Association.

Paul explained that the process of registering would be simpler if we update our current constitution to the CC standard model. Paul made the meeting aware that copies of the model constitution we wish to adopt were available for viewing. Paul proposed that we made this change and Simon King seconded this. 

Officer Appointments

Paul stated that all the current members had confirmed they wish to remain on the committee, so therefore there are no current vacancies. Paul then proposed that the current committee remain in their posts, and that as part of the registration with the CC they all become trustees of the group. Simon King seconded this.

Paul stated that even though there are no current vacancies we are always grateful for any volunteers to help with events, churchyard maintenance etc.

Current Year

Paul gave details of the events we have held so far this year and also what is in the pipeline. 

AOB or Questions

There was no AOB or questions.

Close

Paul closed the AGM and thanked the committee and those who had attended.

FRIENDS GROUP UPDATE

DECEMBER 2021

Hello and welcome to our new group of volunteers set up to help look after St Johns Church and bring a bit of life back to a beautiful old building. This all started at the beginning of this year when we contacted the Churches Conservation Trust, who are responsible for the church and our local parish council here in Parson Drove. The churchyard was in a right state, overgrown with nettles, brambles, ivy and all sorts of other weeds. With help from the parish council and the trust the churchyard was trimmed back to ground level, but that was when the hard work really started……keeping it that way! 

If you’ve passed by recently you’ll know that the churchyard is now looking a lot better, being cared for by a small band of Church End volunteers. The grass is mowed regularly, and the weeds are strimmed down. But it doesn’t stop there, as you can imagine it’s a never-ending job, but Parson Drove Street Pride Group will soon be adding their expertise and enthusiasm to ensure the churchyard becomes a place the whole village can visit, use and be proud of. But it’s not just Street Pride we need, all offers of help and assistance are gratefully received. You may have noticed that recently the church notice board at the front of the churchyard has had a makeover, all carried out by Karl from KJ Carpentry in Wisbech St Mary and he’s done a fantastic job and all free of charge! Thank you so much!

So that’s the churchyard, but what about the church? Our plan is to bring it back into regular use. It’s not used for services anymore, but it is still a consecrated church, if you fancied getting married in there, well you can! But we think it makes an excellent venue for all sorts of events, and so far this year there have been quite a few things that have all been really successful, thanks to the support from everyone in the village. We started with an Outdoor Theatre Performance in June, a Bat themed evening, a fabulous Arts and Crafts Fair, Art Exhibition, Astronomy evening and most recently a hugely successful Strictly Stylish Fashion Show and Sale in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. And there’s a lot more to come!!!

As we head up to Christmas there is a Christmas Wreath Making Workshop, and another fabulous Arts and Crafts Fair. We are also hoping to have some kind of Christmas Concert or Musical Evening, or maybe a Festive Get Together for a mince pie and a catch up.…..just watch this space for more details of events this year and next, keep an eye on our Facebook page @saintjohnsparsondrove

In the pipeline for next year, on 22nd January there’ll be a Fun Family Quiz Night, and then throughout the year more arts and craft fairs, back by popular demand another bat evening and another fashion show, a beer and gin festival, art exhibition, an “all things dog” fair, and how about a pop-up restaurant or maybe even a cookery demonstration – just watch this space! Got an idea for an event? Let us know and we’ll see what we can do.

But all of these things can’t happen without the brilliant support we’ve had from everyone in Church End, in Parson Drove, and in the surrounding villages, and we are so grateful for everything you do to support us. We’re working hard to get the group fully up and running, just a few more things to do to get everything in place. If you would like to get involved just give us a shout, even if you just have a little bit of spare time it all helps. We need your help to mow, strim, clear, tidy, plant, prune, clean, organise, welcome, promote, bake, make, sell…..! You can contact us by email at ChurchEndEvents@btinternet.com or on our Facebook page @saintjohnsparsondrove

And if you’re looking for somewhere different to hold an event, just get in touch. We’d be very happy to show you round the church and tell you what we can offer to help you organise your day and make it very special.

All of our events raise funds for various charities and for the upkeep of the church.

With all our thanks and very best wishes for a 

Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

FRIENDS GROUP
UPDATE

JULY 2021

As you may have noticed a foolhardy, but dedicated band of volunteers is continuing to wage war on the graveyard at St. Johns. There has been an awful lot of strimming, clearing, cleaning and general tidying up going on. The reaction from neighbours and passers-by has been really positive, with visitor numbers on the rise. So many people have been impressed by the works already done and we’re all keen to make the churchyard and the church a lovely place to visit and for the community to use and enjoy. But as with all such projects we always need more volunteers to help, even if it’s just an hour or two you can spare. Every little helps!

As we reported in last month’s magazine, a fab evening was had by all at the “This is my Theatre” production of Treasure Island. It really got things off to a great start and we’re all looking forward to more shows and more events happening at the church. So please watch this space! We’ve got loads of ideas and there are events already in the pipeline, but if there’s anything you’d like to see in the church please get in touch and let us know.

And so…..EVENTS…..In September we’re linking up with HERITAGE OPEN DAYS England’s Largest Festival of History and Culture and it’s all FREE! Have a look at www.heritageopendays.org.uk for all sorts of days out and activities.

Saturday 4th September there will be a BAT themed Open Day at the church. The church is well known for all the bats that live in it, quite a few different species in fact. The programme is still being put together but will include displays in the church, bat experts on hand with all their knowledge and a sunset “bat-walk” to try to spot bats on the wing led by our own batty experts! This event will be FREE to attend, and there will be refreshments available to buy throughout the day. Please contact me for further details and have a look at www.batsinchurches.org.uk fascinating!!

Sunday 5th September there will be an ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR in the church. There will be all sorts of artwork and craftwork for sale direct from a wide range of local artists and creators, and entry will be FREE! Oh, and don’t forget the tea and cakes, we can’t have a fair without a good cuppa and a slice or two of fabulous homemade cake. If you would like to have a stall at the fair then please get in touch.

For more info on these events, if you have an idea for an event, or if you would like to use the church for something you’re planning, or would like to volunteer…..call or email us

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