The Birth of “The Friends”

Friends of Barnack ChurchDuring 1985 the old church central heating system was ripped out and a new state of the art system installed.

This had been anticipated some years previously and as the church funds were practically non-existent a special Heating Fund was set up and a 200 Club launched as its principal source of income.

Barnack Church sketchIt had been decided when starting the 200 Club that it would be closed down as soon as the new heating system was paid for but, at about the same time in 1986, a group of parishioners was discussing the possibility of forming a Friends of Barnack Church to provide finance to assist in repairing the fabric of the church or enhancing its beauty, and this seemed the perfect time to launch the Friends and take over the 200 Club as a major source of funds.

Next came the legal problems. We had to draw up a constitution and we had to submit a case to the Charity Commissioners to be registered as a charity. We originally based our constitution on one used by a Sussex church, but this was turned down by the Charity Commissioners. After a lot of re-writing and re-wording and with a great deal of help from Messrs Daltons of Stamford and the Charity Commissioners themselves, we eventually became a registered charity with all the attached financial advantages.

To date the Friends have either totally financed, or assisted with: Floodlighting, new Church Guide, repair to roof timbers, cleaning the painted chancel ceiling, the installation of the lightning conductor and the repair of the Salviati Mosaics below the east window.

The constitution states that the object of the charity is to “further the preservation and adornment of the church of St John Baptist, Barnack”, I feel that this is exactly what the Friends have done and will continue to do in the years to come.

Ian Graham

What does membership offer?

Membership of The Friends of Barnack Church

The “Friends” organisation was started in 1986 by a group of local people who were aware of the ever-increasing cost of maintaining the fabric of a church, part of which is over 1000 years old. We knew that Barnack church was celebrated beyond the boundaries of our parish, and that consequently we might be able to recruit help from further afield.

Thus our primary objective is to raise money to be able to support the PCC in caring for the fabric of the building, but a secondary purpose is to foster interest in local history, firstly of the church, but also the village and surrounding area. To this end we have organised visits to places of interest. We have for example visited many cathedrals, also St. John’s College Cambridge and Kedleston Hall in Derbyshire. From time to time we arrange learned lectures on subjects of local or general interest. This year we will visit Elton Hall, the home of the Proby family, in May, and a lecture evening is planned for the autumn.

We run a 200 club, which is our primary source of income, but we have also produced small souvenir items for sale, such as pencils and telephone notepads, and we have helped promote items like Christmas cards and pens produced by the PCC.

We publish a journal that appears each spring and contains “Friends” news together with articles of general interest, and we are always keen to welcome new members. Our membership secretary is Mr. Ian Graham, Chapel Orchard, Pilsgate, PE9 3HH.


pdf logoDownload a Friends of Barnack Church membership application form.

Or contact our membership secretary: Mr. Ian Graham, Chapel Orchard, Pilsgate, PE9 3HH.


pdf logoDownload a 200 Club membership application form.