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Annual reports


Our most recent Annual Report (2016) is reproduced in full below. If you would like to download it or read through previous reports these are available in PDF format below (click to view in a new window or right-click to download/save-as):


Annual report 2016

Annual report 2015

Annual report 2014

Annual report 2013

Annual report 2012

Annual report 2011

Annual report 2010

Annual report 2009

Annual report 2008



The Friends of Dedham Church Charity
Annual Report 2016
Registered Charity Number:
Charity No: 1103634
Registered Address:
Badgers, Coopers Lane, Dedham, Colchester CO7 6AX

Charity Trustees who served in 2016/17

Peter Wilson (Chairman)

Beth Mitchell (Secretary)

David Druitt (Treasurer)

Maria Johnston (Membership Secretary)

Jane Adams

David Jewell

Jill Strangward

Peter Rowles

Anne Fletcher

Jean Flewin (Minutes Secretary)

PCC Representative

Suzanne Woods

Independent Financial Examiner

Philip Strangward


Objective Charity:                                                                                                                                                                                                                      To maintain, repair, restore, preserve, improve, beautify and reconstruct for the benefit of the public the fabric of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, Dedham its monuments, fixtures, fittings, furniture, stained glass, ornaments and other chattels and its churchyard. In addition the Society may support any charitable purpose in the parish of Dedham that promotes the whole mission of the said Church, pastoral, evangelistic, social and ecumenical.


The Friends had 154 members as at the 31 December 2016, nine of whom are life members. This is an increase of 2 from last year with one member having died, 7 members not having renewed and 10 new members added. It is important that we continue to grow our membership, and I want to ask you all to encourage friends and family who are interested in maintaining the fabric of the church and the church school, as well as key aspects of the village to join us in our endeavours.


Main Donations 2016

Our main commitment during the year was to support the PCC in repairing the clerestory windows, carrying out renovation and decoration of the nave and repairing and redecorating the aisles and carrying out repair work to the wooden floors, and at the same time providing a hospitality unit. Because of the large scope of the work and to ensure that it did not over run the Christmas period it was decided to do the work in two phases.

The first phase of the work was the nave and clerestory windows which was completed before Christmas at a total cost of £93120 of which the Friends contributed £37248.12. Both the church and the friends were able to reclaim VAT which meant that our net contribution was £31040.11. The second phase of the work, the repair and redecorating of the aisles was started in January and completed in March. At the time of writing we have just received the final account for the work in the aisles which has come to £47377 which is £6207 below the budgeted figure. The Friends had agreed to pay 60% towards the cost of this work which was to have included the hospitality unit: we maintained this percentage contribution for the aisles only work which meant a payment of £34111.20 including VAT (£28426.00 excluding VAT). In summary the Friends will have contributed a net sum of £59466.11 to these two projects.

It had been intended to provide a hospitality unit at the same time as completing the work on the aisles, but the faculty was not granted in time; after some discussion on what was needed from the hospitality unit and how best it could fit into and blend with the church fabric, it was decided to review the project and to go back to basics. This is now under active consideration and I can assure members that it is not forgotten. As you all know Antony Wilson joined us as our new Priest in Charge earlier this year and is taking an active interest in the work of the Friends and how we can work more closely with the PCC. To this end he has set up a PCC fabric committee and David Druitt and I have been asked to be a part of this and to ensure the PCC and Friends are working together to the same goals and vision.

Future Plans

The new fabric committee will be considering the results of the new Quinquennial inspection which will take place this summer and which will determine the structural priorities needed in the church. The hospitality unit will remain a high priority, and we do need to address the need for better toilet facilities which address health and safety and safeguarding issues. The Friends remain in a healthy financial position and we will look carefully at the projects emerging from the Quinquennial inspection to decide how best we can support the needs of the church. We will also continue to look at any projects which the church school may require if the costs fall within what is allowed by our constitution.


Fund Raising Activities

During the year the Friends held a number of fund raising events to promote the Charity and raise new funds.

Our annual golf day was again held at Hintlesham Hall and was a very successful event with a number of new golfers attending for the first time, as well as the regular supporters of this event, and raised £1575 for our funds.

On 4 August the Friends Summer Pimm’s and canapés Party was held at Princel House and our thanks to Jane Adams for hosting this event, which was as usual very well attended. The ladies of the Committee produced a wonderful selection of canapés while the men folk ensured a steady “top up” of the glasses. A very good occasion for meeting together and celebrating the success of the Friends.

The Summer Ball was again held at the Talbooth on the 17 June and is now an established event in the local calendar. The event was again a “sell out” with just over 170 people attending. The organising committee led by Anne as usual did a superb job and I am constantly surprised at the ingenuity shown in devising the entertainment. The format for the evening was slightly changed in that a silent auction replaced the normal auction, and although this raised slightly less than in previously events the evening was a great success and made a profit of £9102.48

The Friends annual outing last year was to Buckingham Palace on the 17 August and was again fully subscribed.

A new initiative last year was the production of a Friends Christmas card which was designed by one of the young people in our church—Ella Sambrook--it is good that we have talented youngsters in our midst

Financial Review

The financial performance for the year is provided separately in the accounts but in summary the Friends of Dedham Church made a net profit before grants of £16673.14 on income of £30989.73. As at the 31 December 2016 we had reserves of £82302.03 and our contribution towards the phase 2 building works is £34111.20 including VAT (£28426.00 after reclaiming VAT)


The details of trustees who have served during the year are detailed in this report, and in line with our constitution a number of trustees resign but offer themselves for re-election. One new trustee is also proposed.

Future Events

To celebrate the completion of all the building works in the church and to acknowledge and thank the Friends for their contribution, Antony has proposed a Songs of Praise event to be held in the church on Sunday 7 May beginning at 5pm with members of the Friends choosing the hymns and saying a few words as to why the hymns have been chosen. I hope as many Friends as possible will attend and do please invite others to join us on this celebratory occasion.

Our first fund raising event of the year is the golf day at Hintlesham Hall on the 3rd May. We are looking for an even stronger turn out this year so if you play golf come on your own or form your own team and have an enjoyable day in lovely surroundings.

The 2017 Dedham Summer Ball will be held on 16th June again at Le Talbooth, and we have strong demand for tickets and are assured of a good evening. WE will be grateful to anyone who can offer an item for the silent auction or who is able to provide a prize for the raffle.

The member’s summer Pimm’s Party will take place this year on August 17th at Coles Oak House, Coles Oak lane.

The members outing this year will be a visit to Holkham Hall on 14th September.


My thanks to those who have served on the committee during the year for all their efforts and a particular word of thanks to our minute secretary Jean for her sterling work.

Finally our thanks to you our members for your continued support and may I encourage you to encourage your friends and family to also join us.