The Fairlight and Pett Churches website can be accessed here

Friends of Pett Church

Who are they?

A number of people from Pett and surroundings (and a few from further afield) who care about the future of the church building and want to help with its upkeep. Some of them are regular churchgoers, others are occasional churchgoers and a large number are neither. Our village of Pett should be grateful to all of them.

The church building is 150 years old and needs constant maintenance. Why bother at all with the church building? It could be argued that the dwindling and ageing congregation can worship God elsewhere; marriages and funerals can take place elsewhere. BUT the steeple which can be seen from a long way off and the rest of the building provides a central focus to the village and provides with its churchyard a welcome place of peace in this busy world. Also, the building can be used for concerts and other activities and, if we can obtain funding for toilets and a kitchenette, this use can expand.

How do the Friends raise money?

• By paying an annual subscription to belong to the Friends. This year that raised £1510.

• By the annual Jumble Sale: this year the Friends’ share of the proceeds was £400. (The other half went to the Flower Show).

• By the Maytime Medley concert which raised £334. (The Flower Festival is a church fundraiser rather than a Friends’ project.)

What happens to the money raised by the Friends?

It goes into the Fabric Fund held by the Pett Parochial Church Council. This fund is restricted to use for the fabric of the church building. The Friends Committee can express their views on how the money should be spent but the final decision is made by the PCC. The Fabric Fund at the moment holds the sum of £14653. The current project is, of course, the repair of the steeple. The most recent invoice from EB Sculpture who are carrying out the work is in sum of £14889 which is about £2000 more than we were expecting and so this figure will be queried. £5527 has already been spent on the steeple work including architect’s and surveyor’s fees. Any shortfall in the Fabric Fund be made up by the General Fund.

Tell us about progress on the steeple?

EB Sculpture are carrying out the work which started last year. They were chosen over two other builders. There is a detailed schedule of works. The stonework is in a poor state, partly through weathering and partly because cement –based mortar has been wrongly used for repairs in the past. The first stage of the work has been completed and paid for. We are pressing EB Sculpture to complete the work and we will let everyone know when they do. The scaffolding should be very soon reinstated.

Are there any other major fabric expenses anticipated soon?

Every five years the Church of England requires us to have an inspection carried out by an architect approved by the Diocese and he lists urgent work which must be carried out as soon as possible and also less urgent work which is needed. It is a bit like having a car MOT. There are always unexpected requirements. 2019 is our year for a Quinquennial Inspection which in itself will have to be paid for and then there will be the required work on top of that.

What other building works have the Friends contributed to?

There are a large number of items over the years. The largest sums in the years since 2016 have been the windows repair costing £13000; stained glass window repair £760; replacing timber flooring and hatch in top lift of steeple. SO, to all Friends of Pett Church very many heartfelt thanks and please do ask if you wish to find out any further details.

Could I add that any fundraising ideas will be welcomed!

Angela Hawksley, Churchwarden 07976 389635 angela.hawksley3@gmail.com

August 2019