May 2018


newsletter may 2018



Dear Friend

As you will be aware, the Friends’ Weekend took place over Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th May.  For those of you who were not able to attend, I enclose a brief record of the proceedings. The 29th AGM was held from 2.30pm to 2.50pm, on the Saturday.  In her Report the Chairman apologised for her “past inability to match dates to days and times to anything” but promised to do better in the future! The Friends’ social activities during 2017 were recalled, with thanks to all who work so hard to organise these activities, and to those who offer their services in so many ways to and for the Minster. Forthcoming events were announced as follows: on 3rd June the Reverend Susan Binks will be inducted as Vicar of Kirkdale, at 2.30 in the Minster. All Friends are welcome to attend this and the subsequent refreshments in Harome Village Hall; the Friends of Lastingham Church will visit the Minster at 6pm on Friday 22nd June, when Sid Bradley will be the “tour guide”; the Pastor and members of the Danish Church (Sankt Nicolaj), Hull will visit the Minster on Sunday 8th July, and lunch followed by an outing locally is being arranged by Sid Bradley, who will issue details in due course; St Gregory’s Patronal Festival will be celebrated on Sunday 2nd September, and lunch will follow (details will be forthcoming); a day-trip by coach to Hexham Abbey is being organised for Tuesday 18th September. This is a “joint venture” between the Friends of Lastingham Church and the Friends of St Gregory’s Minster (early application is essential; see details below); and all Friends are welcome to attend the Minster Festival of Lessons and Carols, in December. Volunteers for the usual cleaning parties during the last year were thanked, and assured of a warm welcome for assistance during the forthcoming year. Notice was given of forthcoming expenditure authorised by the Trustees, as follows: the Minster organ now needs restoration, and the Trustees have agreed to assist the JCC by making a substantial donation to that Fund; the Trustees have allocated funds for a new run of “Kirkdale” Mugs, hopefully to be on sale in the Autumn. Mr Christopher Ware (artist and Friend) is overseeing this process; the Trustees are looking to refresh the note-cards and Christmas cards on sale, and to this end are asking for views of the Minster interior at Christmas and Easter. Please contact the Chairman if you are able to help; the Trustees have decided to abolish the various levels of subscription fees for the future. With effect from 14th April 2018 one single fee of £20 per person per year will apply for new Friends. The Treasurer reported that finances were in a healthy condition although interest rates are still low. Payments were considerably lower than last year. The Trustees had provided payment in February 2018 for the professional cleaning of the Sundial and two tomb covers within the South Porch. The Trustees continue to allocate payment for the Friends’ Webpage. Appreciation and gratitude was expressed for extra donations received during the year. A plea was made for Friends to contribute via Banker’s Order (Standing Order). The meeting continued with the re-election of Mr Gordon Mellor as a Trustee for the next three years.  The maximum number of Trustees will be restored to ten when the Reverend Susan Binks is inducted as Vicar in June. In Any Other Business it was confirmed that the Trustees were complying with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation which comes into effect on May 25th 2018. If you have any concerns about how your data is stored and used, please contact the Honorary Secretary. There being no further business, the AGM was closed.

I cannot continue further without mentioning that this organisation (The Friends of St Gregory’s Minster) was formed thirty years ago in 1988. That it was formed at all is largely due to the efforts of the Reverend John Warden. Despite retirement and poor health, John still continues to maintain great interest in the Minster and the Friends. May I, on behalf of the Trustees and all the Friends, thank you, John, for your loving-kindness and hard work in the past, in the present and in time to come.

The AGM was followed by the Kirkdale Lecture, given this year by the internationally acclaimed composer and organist Dr Philip Moore, who spoke on “The History of Church Music” to a rapt and appreciative audience. Refreshments were available after the Lecture in the Millennium Room, St Hilda’s, Beadlam.

The Friends’ Weekend continued on Sunday 13th May with Choral Eucharist, including the reading of the Litany of Founders and Benefactors of the Minster. This was followed by Luncheon at Kirkbymoorside Golf Club.

VISIT TO HEXHAM ABBEY:Tuesday 18th September 2018

Early Application Essential, direct to Mrs Penelope Dawson-Brown who is available on 01751 417251 or  for interest/further information. Itinerary as follows: pick up at 7.30/7.45 am; estimated arrival at 10.30 am at the Abbey (includes “comfort stop” en-route); Sid Bradley will give an introductory talk about Bishop Wilfrid during the journey; coffee on arrival, then full guided tour of the Abbey, lasting approximately one hour; a pre-booked two-course lunch will follow, after which there will be a Service of Eucharist; there will be a small amount of free time before departure by coach at approximately 4pm. Mrs Dawson-Brown estimates that the cost for this day-trip including hire of the coach, tip for the driver, donation to the Abbey, pre-booked two-course lunch and guided tour will be in the region of £30 and not more than £35.  Early application is essential; please would all interested parties contact Mrs Dawson-Brown as soon as possible.  Payment when costs are finalised will be required before travel, preferably by/before 15th August 2018. Thank you.

Details about the lunch and outing on Sunday 8th July will be forthcoming in due course from Sid Bradley.

Sincerely, with very best wishes, and with thanks, as ever, for being a Friend,

Heather Harris


Tel: 01723_850558; email:


The Trustees: Mrs Heather Harris (Chairman); Mrs Margery Roberts (Honorary Secretary); Mrs Diana Pearce (Honorary Treasurer); Reverend Susan Binks; Professor Sid Bradley; Mr Bob Chapple; Mrs Erica Dineen; Mr James Lloyd; Mr Gordon Mellor and Mr John Turner.  “The Friends of St Gregory’s Minster” is a charity registered with the Charity Commission, Charity Number 700344.