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What we do
The Friends of St Mary’s comprises a diverse group of residents and non residents, not all church goers, but all of whom are dedicated to preserving this historic building for present and future generations,  to be available for family occasions such as baptisms, weddings and funerals for all inhabitants of this English parish, as well as for its extended role as a  community focus for civic and musical events.
FOSM is affiliated to St Mary’s Church but FOSM funds are not applied to promoting any functions of St Mary’s as a faith community.

FOSM was formed in 1993 to help raise money to support various projects associated with St Mary’s Church building and fabric.
We do this through putting on events such as coffee mornings, lunches, an annual Art Exhibition and an Autumn Fayre, and selling a number of linen and stationery goods with Wivenhoe and Colne Estuary designs.
On occasion we are beneficiaries of legacies from those who desire to support FOSM’s aims.

At present we are looking forward to funding an exciting new project that, if successfully accomplished, will hugely improve the lighting and sound systems in the church building.
This will replace the current systems which do not give the flexibility and quality required for a building that regularly hosts musical and community events.
This project will be separate from, but will work in with the roof repairs and other restorations planned by the church from October 2015.

Membership of the Friends of St Mary’s
The yearly subscription to the Friends of St Mary’s is a minimum donation of £5 per person.
Corporate membership £20 p.a.
Life membership £100
Joint Life membership £150.
To obtain a membership form, including standing order and gift aid declaration, please contact:
Elisabeth Baines, FOSM Membership Secretary, 37 Valley Road, Wivenhoe CO79LZ  or email: abaines(at)talk21(dot)com
We welcome new members.

The funds and examples of how they have been spent
Since its founding in 1993 and up to the end of 2012, a total of £50,823 has been applied to the upkeep of St Mary’s fabric to keep it in good repair and consonant with the purposes for which FOSM supports it.
The list of items is too long to include here but ranges from regular payments for electricity for floodlighting to major expenses for repairs to the buttresses, guttering, and the organ bellows. The carpets have been replaced and the floodlights also to give a more efficient use of electricity.
Most recently assistance has been given to upgrading the toilet system, contribution towards new oak cupboards, repairs to lectern, pulpit and handrail.

The money is generated by subscriptions, donations, legacies, the Co-op dividend card scheme, running an Art Exhibition and an Autumn Fayre, and having a stall selling Wivenhoe Designs at virtually every event in Wivenhoe and at all those organised by St Mary’s fund raising committee.

Co-op dividend card scheme
At Wivenhoe Co-op you can donate your dividend to ‘Friends of St. Mary’s’ by giving the membership number – 179320 – when you pay for goods.
If you would like to know more about the above scheme and how you can help FOSM please contact Maureen Smith 825653.

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