Church Preservation Trust

What is the Trust?

A part of the larger St Mary's Church Council Charitable Trust, the Preservation Trust exists to ensure the preservation of the fabric (for those less familiar with this term,'fabric' refers to the physical building) and the contents of our over-800 year old Village Church.

As the Church of England's limited funds are increasingly devoted to the pensions and the support in retirement of its clergy, local congregations are being asked to pay large sums - via their 'Parish Share'- towards the costs and salaries of their own clergy in addition to maintaining and preserving their churches. For small village communities like Barton Mills this can be a daunting task.

We have sought a solution by setting up the Preservation Trust to raise money that is used solely for the maintenance of the Church building. To make this possible we seek support not just from regular churchgoers but also from those who, whilst perhaps not being frequent attendees, may wish to use it for one or other of the traditionally Christian services of baptism, marriage or funeral or perhaps come to a service at Christmas or Easter. We are grateful for the interest and contributions of all those who recognise and value the continuing presence of this historic building in our community.

Since its 1996 founding the St Mary's (Barton Mills) Preservation Trust has recorded many successful years of fundraising and subsequent fabric preservation. With wide support from the community it continues to fulfil the expectations of all those concerned as to the bright future for this useful and historic building.

What is the Membership Scheme?

The Trust invites individuals or families with an interest in preserving Barton Mills Parish Church to become Members of the St Mary's (Barton Mills) Preservation Trust. In this way you can contribute to the upkeep of the building as well as being informed of events and spending via the annual Newsletter.
Contributions of any size are welcome and Members are asked to contribute annually. Adding Gift Aid, if Members qualify, is particularly important as it enables the Trust to recover from the Inland Revenue the income tax already paid on the amount given by the donor. This creates no extra cost for the donor, but significantly increases the value of donations for the Trust.

What is the Money Used For?

Preservation Trust funds are placed in bank and deposit accounts. These are held completely separately from the Church's General Fund and Trust money cannot be used for General Fund purposes.

Since the Trust was founded in 1996 it has raised many thousands of pounds from Members' subscriptions and from special events - including the famous Scarecrow Festivals! Money has been spent on projects such as the repair and the protection of the stained glass windows, on restoring stonework, repairing guttering and downpipes, renewing underground drainage along the north wall, and conserving the Gilbert Scott mural of 'The Good Shepherd'. Trust funds also provide for the ongoing care of the overall fabric of the church, as regular general maintenance and checks are important both for preservation and for the early detection of potential problems.

All this work - made possible by your kind assistance - helps make the Church a pleasant and welcoming meeting place for both religious occasions and village events, thus continuing its tradition as a community centre into the third millenium.

How Can I Become a Member?

Whether or not you are a churchgoer, we welcome you and encourage you to become a Member. Please print out and fill in the form linked below or pick up an application from the leaflet inside the Church. Contact information is also listed below. If you live locally to Barton Mills, one of the Trustees will be happy to visit you and answer any questions you may have about becoming a Member or the work of the Trust.

An annual Newsletter is sent to all Members. This keeps them informed as to how their money is being used and about all future plans, both in fundraising and spending. Each year there is a Spring Meeting with a report from the Chairman and presentation of the accounts, as well as a guest speaker or other form of social entertainment. A programme of fund raising events is organised, when Members are invited to participate and give their support.

St Mary's Church has been supported by the Barton Mills community for more than 800 years. Please help now to preserve this Grade II* Listed Building for succeeding generations by making a regular contribution towards its upkeep through becoming a Member of the Preservation Trust.

Please click here to download an application form to print and mail in (Word format)

You can also pick up an application form from the Preservation Trust leaflet available in the Church.

Or if you'd like to contact the Preservation Trust General Secretary, please do so via:
Frances Lewis
11 Church Meadow, Barton Mills,
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, IP28 6AR
Telephone: 01638 713155          email: frances_lewis11@hotmail.com