Each year the Trustees prepare a brief summary of the work undertaken by the Trustees to the St Martin's Church Parish Annual Meeting. The 2016 report is included below. A full report together with the full financial statement will be posted here when it is filed with the Charity Commission.
Annual report for St. Martin's Low Marple Heritage Trust for 2016
The year 2016 was a busy one for the Trust and one which saw the completion of its first restoration project – the Christopher Whall painting in the Lady Chapel. We were also pleased to see steady growth in the number of “Friends” which now stands at 92. Funds are healthy with a balance of £14,786 in our account ( as at Dec 2016)
The Trustees met on 9 occasions during the year and topics under discussion included future restoration projects, fund raising events, visits to places of interest, communication with Friends, church security, the Heritage Open Weekend, open church on Saturday mornings as well as finance and publicity. There is much to keep the Trustees busy!
We were pleased to see completed the restoration of the Christopher Whall painting in the Lady Chapel thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Janet Cuff who is now a life member of the Trust. A brass plaque in recognition of this will be installed in 2017. An official “unveiling” was held in November at which we were pleased to welcome Mrs. Cuff. Details of the painting previously masked in dirt can now be seen and thanks go to David Everingham, the expert restorer who carried out the work in a sensitive and discreet way. All Friends were invited to this event and we were pleased to see a good number there. They were able to see some photos of the restoration project as well as a short film about Christopher Whall and his work as well as a display about other paintings on the theme of The Annunciation.
A number of fund raising events have been held by the Trust during the year including a successful Cheese and Wine evening in February, a concert by the Cantus and Bravura choirs in September as part of the ever popular Heritage Open Weekend and a very interesting talk by Barrie and Wendy Armstrong which was well supported.
Visits to the church by various groups have also taken place and have been well received. These included a visit by the Romiley local history society in January, the Wilmslow branch of NADFAS in June, an Arts and Crafts group from Surrey in July and a group from St. Thomas’ church in Hyde in September. We are grateful for the help of our church guides on these occasions as well as those who prepare and serve the refreshments. We have also continued with “Open Church” on Saturday mornings during the months April – end of October between 10.30 and 12.30. We are pleased to report that visitor numbers over the year have risen to over 200 (including the Heritage Open Weekend). The visits are always much appreciated and well received. The Trust intends to continue this initiative in 2017 and would welcome the help of the wider community in acting as guides. Training for this will be given on 2 consecutive Saturdays - 22nd and 29th April 2017 between 10. 30 and 12.30 – the hours of the church opening. Please come along and see if you can help!
Thanks to the work of Mike Newton (our Treasurer and membership secretary) and Mark Whittaker, the Trust now has active Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as our website. Work is ongoing in keeping these up to date. We are also grateful to Ann Sayer for keeping Friends informed of Heritage Trust news by e-mail and post. We have had some problems in maintaining email contact with a small number of Friends and are seeking to remedy this.
2017 will see the 150th anniversary of the founding of St. Martin’s and this will be marked in a number of ways throughout the year. The Heritage Trust is principally involved in a community Arts project overseen by Revd Ann and due to come to fruition in November 2017. Future projects for the Trust include the restoration of the “Angel” panel in the Sanctuary and the re-gilding of the names on the war memorial.
We would very much like to expand our group and would like to hear from anyone who is interested in joining, either as a Trustee or as a Friend. Please contact Mike Newton, our membership Secretary on 449 5299 or via our Contact Us page.
We look forward to an interesting and challenging year ahead and to welcoming new Friends and supporters.