Dear all

Our Pancake celebration, yesterday, Shrove Tuesday, exceeded all our expectations. We had originally intended the money from the Cake stall and the Raffle to be added to Friends’ funds, as other tasks at the church need attention. However, once the news broke of the invasion of Ukraine, a Committee member suggested that our takings on the day should be donated to the welfare of Ukrainians, facing this frightful onslaught. We all agreed with her.

Over fifty people from the village and further afield attended; everyone enjoyed their free pancakes- traditional, with lemon and sugar, or maple syrup or savoury with cheese and tomato. Teas and coffees were served and people chatted, animatedly. The cake stall sold out and the raffle was so popular that extra staff had to be drafted in! If you were there, your generosity has overwhelmed us- thank you so much for giving so freely yesterday to such an important cause.

Today Helen our Treasurer, has sent £650 to the British Red Cross to be sent on to the International body of the Red Cross, who will use it for essential supplies including medicine for the brave people of Ukraine. An extra £20 has come in and that, too, will be dispatched.

Our very grateful thanks go to all who contributed Raffle prizes, and home- made cakes. My thanks goes also to those Committee members and others who worked so hard to ensure all our guests enjoyed their Pancake Day celebration.

Later in March, on Saturday, 19th March, the Folk and Friends Concert will take place in the church at 7.00pm. This is an evening of Music, Verse and Story-telling performed by villagers and their friends. This concert has now become embedded in the Friends’ calendar and is always hugely enjoyed by those who attend. Please do come along for a lovely evening’s entertainment, including complimentary refreshments.

Unfortunately, the lecture scheduled for 29th March has had to be cancelled owing to the ill-health of the speaker in question. However, there will be more lectures in April, the first on April 12th, the revised date for the Gresham Castle talk. More of this and other events in future newsletters.

Finally, I need to let you know that I will be stepping down as Chair of The Friends, from 31st March 2022. It has been about four and a half years since Ruth Adamson approached me to lead a new Friends’ group and work towards getting the church refurbished. We are now almost there although the project will not be complete until the end of June 2022. Helen, our Vice- Chair, will now be the contact person for the Lottery bid and the Committee will continue.

I leave satisfied that the church is renewed and secure both for worship and the community events that can be held there. I hope that this building will be appreciated and used for many decades to come, as was our intention in undertaking this project.

Thank you all for your contributions over the years- we couldn’t have done it without you and I am sure you will continue to support Helen and the Committee in the coming months and years. Helen will be writing to you next month.

With my very best wishes to you all for future health and happiness,

Julia Drury, Chair,The Friends of All Saints Gresham.

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