Chairman's Autumn Newsletter 2018

Mid year updates
As the long, hot summer draws to a close, it is perhaps inevitable that comparisons are made with the summer of 1976. Those of us of a certain age will remember the intense, unrelenting heat that year and whether or not it was the hottest, driest or. sunniest summer on record, it has become the benchmark by which all other heatwaves are judged.
A trip to the Marsh in the middle of July, found me wondering what the Marsh was like 42 years ago and the extent to which it has changed in the intervening years. I imagine the landscape is broadly similar with sheep grazing the fields and marshland and potatoes and corn the main crops. New roads and housing have been built which has resulted in an inevitable increase in traffic and to a degree a loss of tranquillity. Wind and solar farms have arrived and whilst many of the pubs have gone, the Red Lion at Snargate, a veritable time capsule, retains the character of a bygone age.
What of the churches? In 1976 this Trust was still six years away from its formation and the fourteen churches we support would have been struggling to survive. A perfect storm was brewing; crumbling buildings and dwindling congregations unable to maintain them. The rest, as they say, is history. Established in 1982, the Trust has distributed over £lm in grants to the churches and without doubt, this Trust has played a significant part in their survival and in some instances, revival.
Many of those who helped to establish the Trust are still involved. Shaun Leavey remains an active and interested Vice-President whilst Nick Hudd and John Doyle are members of the Council. It was fitting that Nick made a presentation to John to mark his 30 years as President at this year’s Annual General Meeting held at St Augustine, Brookland. Our speaker was Graham Clarke, author, artist, illustrator and humorist who gave a delightful address which concluded with a poem he had written especially for the occasion. A copy of his address is enclosed with this Newsletter.
Grants so far this year have totalled a little over £60,000 of which the largest – £32,500 — was to St George’s Ivychurch for repairs to the nave and aisle. Sadly, vandalism is an ever present threat and as a result of damage to the south windows at All Saints, Lydd we have awarded £10,000 both for repairs and also installation of window guards. Following their quinquennial, a grant of£12,000 was awarded to St Mary in the Marsh for a variety of repairs to be undertaken both this year and next. Further grants are likely to be made before the end of the year but as always, we are dependent on the churches and PCCs applying to us for the funds they need.
In addition to the tours conducted by John Hendy, we enjoyed two very successful Members Tours – one in July, the other in September — once again hosted by Elizabeth Marshall and Joan Campbell. At St Augustine, Snave our annual Harvest Thanksgiving service was held on 9 September and also at Snave, on 22 September, we welcomed back the Latin Mass Society for the fourth consecutive year. On Christmas Day at 9am, St Eanswith, Brenzett, will be holding a special Communion service with carols. Everyone is welcome and it would be good to support one of our smaller churches.
Accompanying this Newsletter is our order form for this year’s Christmas Cards; a painting by John Doyle, and photographs from John Hendy and David Campbell. My thanks go to all three for both these and their regular contributions. Many of you will remember one of our cards from last year; “His Master’s Music”, a delightful photograph ofRon Pain and his little dog Charlie in Old Romney. This proved such a success that we have reissued it as a blank card and this is included on our order sheet.
As always, this Trust relies on the generosity of our Members and the Officers and helpers who give of their time so unselfishly. The churches are a testament to that generosity in the past, the present and I hope, for many years to come.
Peter Anwyl-Harris