Published: May, 2021
If asked to imagine the centre of the village, what images come to mind? Is it the pub and the Green South, the Green itself, the shop perhaps, or possibly the Church view?
All of these images are valid and certainly represent the Warborough and Shillingford we know and love. All of them have survived over the years because we need them and look after them. We spend our money on them and they in turn nourish our love of the village environment in which we are so lucky to live.
If, in these musings, a picture of the church sprang to your mind, would it then bother you if the church was taken away? If you are a regular worshipper, it certainly would. But if you are not, would it perhaps matter that you wouldn’t be able to hold a family wedding there or attend the funeral of a close friend in our village church? Do we just take the church for granted because it has stood there, quietly, familiar, unassuming, witnessing over 700 years of history?
We think that most people would actually say they would be saddened to see the loss of the church and would not want to see that happen.
The Friends of St Laurence reformed well over a year ago to help raise funds necessary to refresh and restore our village Church for the benefit of future generations. As we started to consider the enormity of the task and how to break it down into deliverable pieces of work, we did not anticipate the additional impact of the pandemic and its effect on our villages and our community.
Although traditional fundraising events have not been possible and the church itself not accessible for long periods, the Friends have quietly been working with the PCC to understand what needs to be done and in what order and as importantly we’ve been raising money. During lockdown we’ve raised over £20,000 – a significant step towards our initial target of £50,000 for the first phase of the restoration programme which we plan to start in Spring 2022.
Clearly, we still have a long way to go but we, probably like you, think this is a worthwhile and achievable endeavour.
Over and above its traditional role, we believe that the church can be more of a home to local cultural and community events, building beyond its physical and spiritual status as centre of the village, becoming its cultural heart too. In the coming months we hope to be able to put on some fundraising entertainment including a concert in the church in the Autumn. Watch this space!
Since our re-launch, we are pleased to report that many villagers have signed up and become Friends of the church. It does not need to be a big financial commitment – small donations from enough people really start to add up.
If you also think this to be a worthwhile endeavour, please either contact any of the Friends Committee: Martyn Drury, Alan Lamb, Nick Brown, Nigel Conie or visit our website at: https://friendsofstlaurencewarborough.co.uk, our Facebook page or Twitter feed and become a Friend today.
Thank you for reading and considering this note.
The Friends of St Laurence Church, Warborough