Churches

Friends of St Mary’s 2012

Last month saw the launch of a new group called Friends of St Mary’s (FOSM).  FOSM is dedicated to preserving and maintaining the beautiful and ancient church of St Mary’s in Bramshott.  St Mary’s is now approaching its 800th birthday, having originally been built as a private chapel for Bramshott Manor in 1220.  To put this in historical perspective the church was started during the reign of Henry III, the same year in which Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster began to be rebuilt in the Gothic style.  St Mary’s was already 400 years old when Inigo Jones’s Banqueting House was completed in 1622 as part of the Palace of Whitehall in London.  The church has a fascinating history and has many stories to tell.  More recently, in the 1960’s it became the local church for William Henry Pratt, better known as the Hollywood star of Frankenstein, Boris Karloff.  This served to enhance Bramshott’s reputation as rather ghostly village.    

Maintaining this ancient building is a huge commitment for a small church congregation.  It is particularly challenging today, as we have some major roof and gutter renovations to make in 2012 to stop the roof leaking and protect the roof woodwork, some of which dates back to 1400.  We have 12 months to raise £125,000.  The parish does not receive any central church or government funding for the maintenance of such an important building and we need urgent financial assistance and volunteers to help with the fund raising.  The roof is already leaking and the work needs to be completed urgently to minimise damage to other parts of the church. 

In order to raise this huge sum of money FOSM needs local volunteers to come forward and help with running a series of events and also to coordinate an exciting membership scheme which will enable everyone to become Friends of St Mary’s.  We hope to energise local people to support the cause and save St Mary’s from falling into more serious disrepair.  Even if you are not a regular attender at St Mary’s, I am sure you would agree it would be a tragedy to lose this beautiful old building.  If you are interested in becoming a member of FOSM, helping out with events or providing financial assistance then please email the FOSM Chairman, Andrew Kinniburgh on abkinniburgh@gmail.com


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