About us


FOSM was founded in 1993 for the purpose of raising money to support various projects associated with the building and fabric of St Mary’s Church and to help look after this  important historic building for the community of Wivenhoe.

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.

Examples of what FOSM has funded
The full list of items is too long to include 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. Over the years, FOSM has given a total of £100,000 for various projects in the Church, most recently a contribution of £45,000 to the Transformation Project, £23,000 for installing a new sound system and the Audio Visual system and towards the new lighting in the church.
This replaced the current systems which did not give the flexibility and quality required for a building that regularly hosts musical and community events.

Our Funding
Our funds come from a variety of sources.

1. 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.

2. Activities
We have a presence at virtually every event in Wivenhoe, and at all those organised by St Mary’s fund raising committee.
We put 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.

3. 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.

4. Legacies and other donations
Any bequests made for the purposes of FOSM are kept strictly separate from general church finances.
In 2008 we received a significant legacy from Mrs Dorothy Moss. We invested it until there was a project which the Committee felt would benefit the whole community.
In 2017 such a project crystalised- see the News & Events page.