The Guardians of Martock Church

History

From The Beginning

In 1996, just after the appointment of Rev. Trevor Farmiloe as Vicar of Martock, the PCC was faced with the prospect of a Quinquennial Inspection, and it was suspected that a considerable amount of work was going to be necessary to the fabric of the Church. More funds would be needed than the PCC could be expected to find to carry out the work. Elizabeth Turner had the idea to set up the 'Friends of Martock Church'. Later that year a Charitable Trust was formed and the charity, to be known as The Guardians of Martock Church, is supported by people from all sections of the village community, dedicated to raising funds on an on-going basis for the repair, restoration and upkeep of the fabric of the Church. The Trust is completely independent of the PCC of All Saints' Church and any funds raised remain the assets of the Trustees.

The Trust document defines “the fabric of the church” as “the Church and Churchyard and contents including monuments, ornaments, furnishings, bells, organ, windows, and other embellishments and equipment of the Church as an ancient building of beauty, historic and architectural interest.” Since then responsibility for the churchyard has been taken over by the Parish council.

The Trust
The Trustees at the outset were:-

Chairman

Patrick Palmer

   

Trustees

Ray Edwards

John Lewis

Leslie Pearman

 

John Terrell

Elizabeth Turner

Patricia Griffin

 

Trevor Farmiloe

(ex officio)

 

The Fund Raising Committee
In 1997 a fund raising committee was formed.  Initially, members included:-

Chairman

Jeremy French

Secretary

Ivan Childs

Treasurer

Wendy A'Court

   

Members

Mac Day

Piers Feilden

Michael Wilson

 

Sean Fielding

Harold Lewis

Noel Burrell

 

Colin Camwell

David Millbank

 

Early activities included:

Initially, importance was placed on convincing people to commit to complete a Covenant in favour of the Guardians.

The quinquennial inspection revealed that a massive amount of work needed to be done – including costly repairs to the stonework both in the perforated parapet above the nave and in the walling of the main building.  The original estimate was that this would cost some £70,000 – more than the Guardians on their own could expect to raise.  It was therefore decided to set up a major appeal under the joint patronage of HM Lord Lieutenant, Sir John Wills, and the Bishop of Bath and Wells.  At this point Jeremy French handed over the Chairmanship to Ivan Childs so that he could concentrate on the appeal, and Kathleen Lewis became Secretary.

The Appeal included an application to the Heritage Lottery Fund as well as to a number of charities known to be supportive of the up-keep of historic churches.  Letters were sent to a number of kind people who had shown their support for the Guardians.  The final accounts for the work turned out to be just over £40,000 and, despite gaining no help from the Lottery Fund, the Guardians and the Appeal were able to raise the necessary funds to meet the cost of all the work required.

Over the years the Guardians have held many varied events.

Now there are approximately eight concerts a year and the occasional talk.  So far all have been successful. Pictures of some of the artists involved are shown opposite.