The Friends of St Eustachius' is an association of individuals, families, businesses and community organisations which supports St Eustachius' Church, Tavistock by raising funds for the maintenance and beautification of the church enhancing the links between the church and the community in Tavistock and surrounding areas.
To become a member of the Friends' of St Eustachius, please call the parish administrator on 01822 616673.
A CELEBRATION OF THE SAINTS
A CELEBRATION OF
BRITAIN & IRELAND!
7 pm for 7.30 pm
The Parish Centre, Tavistock
A superb dinner will be served
together with Live Entertainment
£15 per ticket available from
The Parish Office
‘January grey is here’
The Friends of St Eustachius
1 January 2012
[Shelley]; ‘January, month of empty pockets’ [Colette]
I shall try to chase away the January blues with news of what the Friends have been doing recently and what we have in the pipeline for 2012.
Friends’ events in the last few months of 2011 included a wonderful illustrated lecture on ‘The Myths, Legends and Art of the Mysterious St Eustachius’ by the distinguished local art historian, Dr Geri Parlby, and a thrilling concert performance by Nigel Shaw; we are very grateful to Natasha Church of The Music Room at the BookStop, one of our sponsors, for organising the latter event.
And then, there was the 2011 Christmas Tree Festival. The atmosphere in the church during the Festival was brilliant, with the beautiful trees, the lovely music and the warmth of feeling from the visitors. The visitors’ book is filled with positive comments of which the following give a flavour:
A wonderful experience: lovely music and trees
Stunning church- fantastic trees-have been in three times
Wonderful idea and community involvement
Another entry says, ‘we really like the idea of the prayer tree’, and prayers from the prayer tree were used as the basis of our intercessions at the Family Communion Service on Sunday 4th December.
Another comment says, ‘The Festival gets better every year’ and the figures for 2011 confirm this:
57 trees [55 in 2010, 46 in 2009]
About 7600 viewers [6000 in 2010, 4500 in 2009]
A current surplus of £7153 which is likely to be supplemented by a further donation to bring the final total to about £7900 [£5800 in 2010, £3800 in 2009]
And I shall long treasure the memory of Dickensian Evening, on which the queues stretched half way around the church, and on which about 2700 people saw the trees [about 2000 in 2010].
There was a high poll for Favourite Tree, and the results of a close run election were:
Tavistock Church Schools Federation
Tavistock Community Primary School
Operation Sunshine; Tavistock Area Disabled Fellowship Club; St Eustachius’ Church [tied]
Someone in the visitors’ book states that, ‘everyone has worked so hard’, and there can be no doubt that ‘everyone’ includes a great number of people, who decorated trees, made music, helped with the catering and acted as stewards. The Friends are grateful to each and every one of those involved.
As you know, the money raised from the Festival enables the Friends to support projects which help to maintain and beautify our church. Recent examples of this have included a major contribution [£4000] to the costs of refurbishing the piano, the purchase of new IT equipment for the Parish Centre [£1250], and meeting the costs [£7,300] of drawing up detailed plans of the church which will form the basis for future projects hopefully including the reordering of the west end of the church.
There can be no doubt that the 2011 Christmas Tree Festival was very successful, enjoyable and greatly appreciated, and you will be pleased to hear that we are planning another Festival in 2012!
Other events to look forward to in 2012 include:
A supper and entertainment in celebration of the patron saints of Britain and Ireland to be held in the Parish Centre on Saturday 17th March [St Patrick’s Day]
The Grand Summer Fete to be held in the Churchyard on Saturday 16th June
We have, however, decided to postpone the Auction of Promises which was originally scheduled for Saturday 21st January; a new date for this event will be notified in due course.
In the hope that you are by now cheered up, it remains only to wish you all the very best for 2012!
2011 Christmas Tree Festival Is A Great Success
The 2011 Festival, held in Tavistock Parish Church, followed two highly successful years in 2009 and 2010 and happily exceeded our expectations, breaking all of last years records.
Fifty six trees, beautifully decorated by local organisations and businesses, were displayed in the Church for ten days between 25th November and 4th December , and there were also delicious refreshments, and a wonderful programme of more than 30 musical performances by local schools, choirs and musicians.
We estimate that over 4,000 paying adults, around 1,500 children and a 1.000 people attending services saw the trees, with over 2,000 people coming through the doors on Dickensian Evening. A lot of money was raised, with a surplus of over £6,000, which is likely to reach £7,000, with the anticipated receipt of a major donation. The number of votes cast for the favourite tree were very high, with all or the trees having their supporters. In the end, the visitor’s favourite tree was the one decorated by Tavistock Church Schools Federation, (above) a joint effort between St Rumon’s Infant School and St Peter’s JuniorSchool. The theme of their decoration was “Natures Bounty of Christmas Decorations” and the orange fruit represented the schools links with a primary school in Uganda. Trees decorated by Tavistock Launderette, Operation Sunshine, Tavistock Primary and the St Eustachius Church also attracted large numbers of votes.
The Christmas trees lit up Tavistock for ten dull winter days, and we know that they lit up the lives of a very large number of people and we give thanks for that. We also give thanks to all those who decorated the trees, who made the refreshments, who performed the music and who helped with the Festival in so many different ways. We would like to give particular thanks to The Robey Trust, who loaned us their trestle tables, and to the men from the Tavistock Town Council, who provided the “muscle” to move and place the trestles and the trees. We know that Tavistock is a wonderful community, with an equally wonderful Church at its centre, and we think that the 2011 was a truly joyful manifestion of that.
The Festival was organised and managed by the Friends of St Eustachius’ whose aim is to raise money to help maintain and improve TavistockParishChurch. Many of our members are not regular church goers, but have tremendous affection for the Church and wish to support the fund raising efforts, and also to enjoy the frequent social events, which take place throughout the year. If you would like to consider joining the Friends, then please contact the parish office, tel 01822 616673 for further details.
Ray Hurle for Friends of St Eustachius’
Since golden October declined into sombre November
1 October 2011
‘Since golden October declined into sombre November’ T S Eliot, ‘Murder in the Cathedral’.
This month’s news will include information about how the Friends intend to mark ‘golden October’ and to brighten up ‘sombre November’… and much else besides.
The Annual General Meeting of the Friends held on Sunday 18 September seems like a good place to begin. As Chairman, I reported on a very successful and enjoyable 12 months for the Friends. In the period between September 2010 and September 2011 Friends’ activities produced a surplus of more than £12,000, with major contributions coming from the Christmas Tree Festival (nearly £6000), the Grand Summer Fete (more than £1700), and the One in a Thousand Raffle, which thanks to ticket sales and a significant donation will produce a final surplus of nearly £2000. The Friends made one substantial donation during the year (£4000 towards the costs of refurbishing the piano), and stand ready to make further major donations towards the costs of projects which are likely to include the drawing up of base plans for the church, further improvements to the parish centre, the repair of the church ceiling, and the reordering of the west-end of the church.
The membership of the Friends has remained fairly constant (at about 200 members) throughout the year, but we have welcomed three new sponsors: the Empty Box Company, the St Eustachius’ Bellringers and the Tavistock Branch of the Senior Council for Devon. Between late October and the end of the Christmas Tree Festival in early December, we intend to run a Membership Campaign with the aims of doubling the number of sponsors (to at least 40) and achieving a 50% increase in membership (to 300). Alongside the Membership Campaign, we shall be conducting a survey of existing members and sponsors to assess what they think of the Friends: the activities, the benefits of membership, the uses made of the money which we raise and so on.
We also intend to run a full programme of events in 2011/2012, and you might like to put the following dates into your diary:
Saturday 15 October: A concert by Nigel Shaw, the distinguished Dartmoor musician. In the church at
Friday 25 November until Sunday 4 December: Christmas Tree Festival
Saturday 21 January 2012: Auction of Promises. Parish Centre
Saturday 17 March 2012: Supper and Entertainment celebrating the patron saints of Britain and Ireland. Parish Centre,
Saturday 16 June 2012: Grand Summer Fete
Altogether an ambitious programme of work, which will be led by the Friends’ Committee, elected at the AGM and consisting of: John Rea (Chairman), Judy Hirst (Vice-Chairman), Tony Sherlock (Treasurer), Pat Morrison (Secretary), Raymond Hurle (Membership Secretary), Christopher Kirwin (Sponsorship Secretary), Sibylle Brock, Dick Eberlie, Alice Harding, Leone Harding, Joan Torvell, and Gill Tromans. As you may have noticed, this committee bears a strong resemblance to that elected in September 2010, although there is one significant difference in that Pat Morrison has replaced Gill Tromans as Secretary. Gill has given sterling service as Secretary over the last three years, and I am pleased that she has agreed to stay on as a member of the Friends’ committee.
If you are already a member of the Friends, I look forward to seeing you at Friends’ events during 2011/12, and, if you are not yet a member, I look forward to welcoming you aboard during the next few months.