Parish Pump Join the Friends On a damp and foggy evening in late January an enthusiastic group of supporters gathered in Woodbridge for the launch of The Friends of St Mary’s Church. The Friends is being set up to raise funds for the restoration, preservation and improvement of St Mary’s Church and churchyard. A first priority for the Friends is to help raise funds towards the Phase 2 of the current church repairs project (see page 4) and the charity will be recruiting members, generating ideas and holding events for this purpose. As the Rector, Revd Canon Kevan McCormack, pointed out at the meeting, St Mary’s Church is part of the local landscape and history. We are all custodians of this heritage and the church belongs to the local community. It is not just a place where a few hundred people worship each week, but is open 365 days a year for everyone. It is also used for concerts, talks, exhibitions, drama, civic and school events as well as weddings, baptisms and funerals. It is a place of beauty and tranquillity, available for all to use for a quiet moment in a busy world, or to enjoy the art and architecture, or simply to soak up the history and the peaceful atmosphere. Following the launch meeting, there is now a Friends Committee, an early stage website www.friends.stmaryswoodbridge.org, a Friends bank account and a growing list of ideas for events and activities. If you are interested in becoming a Friend and helping to make the charity a success visit the website or come along for wine and nibbles at St Mary’s Church Centre – 7.30pm on Friday April 27. The social network Nobody connected with the church need want for a social life! Typical events include barbecues, town trails, teas, quizzes, lunches for harvest and other special occasions, cheese and wine parties and garden fetes (keep checking the website or the pew sheet). A regular drop in event is ‘Parish Coffee’ held from 10.30 a.m. to 12.00 noon on the second Tuesday of every month in the Church Centre. There is also a lunch on each fourth Thursday. You can sign up for this on the preceding week or so.