Friends of St Michael’s
Whatever your faith
St Michael’s needs your help
The Friends of St. Michael’s Church is a non-religious organization which was formed in 2005 to raise funds and to provide skills, expertise and ‘people power’ to maintain the fabric of the Church and its grounds.
The building and grounds are of significant historical interest and value, and their presence adds much to the character of our beautiful village.
The Church has been on the site in Woodham Walter since 1563 and it needs constant care and attention to ensure that it remains in a sound condition so that it can be enjoyed by future generations.
Members of the Friends come from diverse religious persuasions (including practising Atheists) but are united by the desire to ensure that this historical treasure survives for at least the next 460 years!
To join the Friends, download the Membership Brochure here.
The Friends help in a number of ways:-
Through their membership fees and other generous donations.
By the application of relevant skills:-
- Metal working
- Building etc.
By using their enthusiasm and organisational abilities to progress fund-raising activities.
By the application of ‘people-power’; helping with those tasks that simply require effort.
Activities that have been completed to date
- Replacement of the entrance gate to the Church grounds. This was a fitting symbolic start as an improvement that was badly needed. The replacement of the gate is a great example of the way in which the Friends work. A member of the Friends drew up the plans. Membership fees and generous donations were used to fund a local carpenter who manufactured the gate and posts. Members of the Friends worked together to remove the old gate and posts and install the new ones. Thus avoiding the substantial costs of a building contractor to carry out this work.
- The clearance of ivy, brambles and other weeds from the base of the church walls on the south and east facing aspects to allow decaying brickwork to be replaced. Back filling the area with a plant proof membrane and a gravel soak-away to alleviate some of the damp problems that have been affecting the base of the church walls and the interior.
- We have designed, built and installed a ladder that provides access to the belfry from the clock chamber.
- We have replaced the wooden fence that runs alongside the road as a result of storm damage and treated it with a preservative as well as refurbishing the hooped fencing to the north boundary and refurbishing and fixing the Victorian grave markers.
- We have erected a new fence along the southern boundary of the new churcgyard extension.
- The notice boards at the front of the Church grounds and by the Church door have been replaced.
- Significant financial contribution has been made towards the construction costs associated with the South elevation extension.
- Significant financial contribution has been made towards the redecoration of the building interior.
Next Working Party
23rd July, 9.30am with tea and cake at 11am.
Activities for future actions:
- The Friends have agreed to underwrite the refurbishment of and the extension to the Memorial Wall in the south west corner of the churchyard.
- The joint between the roof and the southern wall of the Church requires re-pointing.
- The clock tower and belfry need cleaning.
- The metal fittings, associated with the mounting of the bells, need anti-corrosion treatment. Some of these fittings are believed to have come from the original church, before it was moved to its current position, and thus are probably about 600 years old!