Powerful friends

Published on: 24 May 2021

When the local community learnt that St Peter’s Church, Forncett, was threatened with closure, the response was immediate; their beautiful 1000-year-old Anglo Saxon church with its iconic round tower must be saved for future generations!

The Friends of St Peter’s Church, Forncett, was launched in October 2019 and has over 100 Friends supporting a huge fund-raising challenge to raise the necessary ‘partnership funding’ to make a National Lottery Heritage Fund (NLHF) bid to save St Peter’s. The figures are mind-boggling – over £750,000 is needed for essential repairs to the fabric and new facilities to transform the church into a vibrant community hub.

The Friends’ Committee is a sub-committee of the Upper Tas Valley All Saints PCC, with sub-committees focusing on publicity, events, building and grants. It draws on a wide range of professional expertise from the community, and benefits greatly from advice and practical support from the Diocesan Historic Church Buildings Support Officer. All fund-raising events were cancelled when COVID-19 struck, but planning continues on Zoom and alternative ‘socially distanced’ ways of fund-raising found e.g. a kind lady made masks for sale, another took ‘lockdown’ family photographs, Christmas cards designed by the village art group, Christmas cakes and puddings all sold well, and a Christmas hamper was raffled. Together with many generous donations plus four grant offers, this means the Friends has already raised almost £40,000, and is about to submit an ‘Expression of Interest’ to the NLHF, the first step towards a Lottery application. A lot has been achieved at a difficult time, thanks to a strong community who care passionately about saving their historic church.

The campaign can be followed on: https://forncett.info/forncett-churches/st-peter.html and on the Friends of St Peters Facebook page.

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