Friends of St Breaca Church to celebrate successful first year
The Friends of St Breaca Church are celebrating the success of their first year which has seen 40 people join and over £2,500 raised, £2,000 of which has been spent on repairs to the church.
The Friends website, launched in October, is already helping people from as far away as California to forge links with the home of their mining ancestors.
Chris Dale, Chair of the Friends Committee, said: “Within a few months of its launch in May 2015, the Friends of St Breaca Church had reached beyond the walls of Breage Church and even the village. It has been good to see that the church means so much even to those who do not attend for worship, with 75% of Friends coming from outside the congregation. Thus, we are already fulfilling our aim of forging links with the community, both locally and far away. While most members are local, we also have members in Bristol, London and Canada.”
The Friends are celebrating their first year with an event in church at 7:30pm tomorrow (Wednesday 18 May). This features a talk by Ann Clegg of the Friends of Godolphin, entitled ‘The Godolphin Family 1475-1786’. In this period, the Godolphin family worshipped at Breage Church, and a number of family members are buried in the church – most notably, Margaret Godolphin, wife of Sidney Godolphin, 1st Earl of Godolphin, Lord Treasurer and First Minister under Queen Anne.
Ann’s talk will be followed by cheese and wine. The event is open to all, is free to attend, and there’s no need to book. Donations to the Friends of St Breaca Church will be welcome, and there will be an opportunity to join the Friends.
Thanks to the generosity of the Friends, £2,000 has already been donated towards conservation work in the church. Breage Church is famous for nationally significant wall paintings that are almost as old as the church itself. These will be the subject of a conservation project later this year.
Chris Dale added: ‘Before this work could be carried out, we had to stop water getting in and damaging the paintings. The roof, gutters, downpipes and low-level drainage have recently been repaired with the help of a £54,000 grant from the Listed Places Of Worship Roof Repair Fund, but we also needed to repoint a section of wall behind the paintings. This was made possible by a grant of £2,500 from the Allchurches Trust, and £2,000 from the Friends.”
Funds raised by and for the Friends are used for the restoration, repair, upkeep and insurance of the fabric of the church and its contents. More details can be found at www.breagechurchfriends.org.uk, including a picture gallery.