1 February 2013
I hope that you have not missed the Chairman’s Christmas Letter too much, but we decided that things were so busy in the run-up to Christmas, that a New Year letter would be a better idea. And here is my New Year letter, written just a little later than I had originally intended!
The letter which brings you my very best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2013, will also say something about the activities of the Friends in 2012 and about our plans for 2013.
2012 was a very good year for the Friends. Among other things, we raised more than £20,000 which is a new record. Some of this has already been spent on new lighting for the Parish Centre, and on candelabras, collection bags and a coin counter for the church; most of the rest has been transferred to the Friends’ Fabric Fund which is held on our behalf by the PCC, and which will be used, at the discretion of the Friends, for future projects in the church which are likely to include repairs to the roof and the reordering of the west end of the church.
We held some very successful and enjoyable events during the year, and the two most recent events, the Auction of Promises held on 10th November and the Christmas Tree Festival which took place between 30th November and 9th December 2012 warrant special mention.
The Auction of Promises, organised by Judy Hirst was a great success. The Parish Centre was filled by more than 70 people, and with enthusiasm increased by some excellent refreshments, and with more than 60 lots, donated by a wide variety of organisations and individuals from the church and from the wider community, the Auction ably conducted by Russell Woolcock and Mike Doidge was highly competitive. The Auction raised more than £2100 and the sale of tickets for the event, the sale of wine, and the sale of tickets for ‘An Evening with Peter Gorton’ which will take place in February brought the total raised on the night to £3,113: a wonderful achievement. The Friends are very grateful to all those who made pledges and donated gifts for the auction, to all who came to the auction and bid so enthusiastically, and to all who helped in so many other ways.
The Christmas Tree Festival, our fourth, and once again masterminded by Pat Morrison, was also a resounding success, beating all the records set in 2011. We had:
* 64 beautifully decorated trees [57 in 2011]
* About 9000 visitors [7600 in 2011], including more than 3000  on Friday 30th November, the opening day of the Festival which coincided with Dickensian Evening
* And the final surplus for the Festival is over £10000 [£7900]: a truly phenomenal achievement. As well as the money raised, we had great participation by the local community, and huge numbers of people coming into the church and having a really good time! A very large number of organisations and individuals deserve thanks for their contributions to the Festival, and these contributions have already been acknowledged in the Festival programme and in the January Parish Magazine.
And what do we have planned for 2013? The programme of events is as follows:
* Monday 25th February: An Evening with Peter Gorton, Parish Centre, 19.30 [a small number of tickets at £20 each are still available from the Parish Office]
* Saturday 16th March: Supper and Entertainment in Celebration of the Saints of Britain and Ireland; Parish Centre, 19.15 for 19.30 [more details will follow and tickets will be on sale soon]
* St Eustachius’ Lecture, ‘The Stained Glass Windows of William Morris and Friends’ to be given by Dr Geri Parlby in the church as part of the Tavistock Music and Arts Festival [date and time to be confirmed]
* The Summer Fete, Saturday 1st June in the churchyard
* The AGM and Cream Tea, Sunday 15th September in the Parish Centre
* Gospel Concert by Jonny Cowling, Sunday 10th November beginning at 19.45 in the church
* The Fifth Christmas Tree Festival; probable dates, Friday 29th November to Sunday 8th December
During 2013, we shall also be continuing with the membership drive, coordinated by Dick Eberlie our Membership Secretary, and if you know of anyone who might like to join the Friends, please encourage them to get in touch with Dick [01822 618974;
]. We also hope to make further major donations to the PCC during the year, and one project, currently being assessed and which we would like to support is the installation of glass doors in the church. I shall keep you up to date with this and with other developments during the year.
It remains for me to thank you very much indeed for all your wonderful support for the Friends during 2012 and to wish you, once again a very happy and prosperous year in 2013.
With every good wish,
John Rea Chairman of the Friends