FRIENDS OF SAINT ANDREW'S
Who are the Friends of St. Andrew's?
On 12th May 2018 we launched the 'Friends of St Andrew’s' scheme.
The Friends are a non-religious organisation specifically established so that anyone who loves this building and its history can help maintain it for future generations.
Ampthill Parish Church has been here since the thirteenth century and is part of our wonderful historic heritage and, apart from the historic value, it is a much-loved venue for services, family and community events and as a meeting place for local organisations.
We are very proud that we are able to have our beautiful church open to visitors every day of the week during daylight hours. There are many entries in the visitor's book by people from all over the world and the most common comments are about the sense of peace that the building gives and how beautiful and well-kept it is.
We know that the residents of Ampthill, past and present, love our building too and even if they don’t attend services or have Christian beliefs they draw comfort from the fact it is there, on the edge of the town but at the heart of the community.
Now for the bad news.
As with many Anglican churches, although they are beautiful structures they are also very old, which means they are high maintenance and any repair work has to be done by specialists stonemasons. The most urgent stonework repairs alone have been estimated at £200,000, the only way we can possibly raise such a significant amount is through grants and fundraising.
At our periodic building inspection in April 2016, it was reported that “the walling is in quite poor condition at high level and much repointing and repair needs to be carried out quite soon”. This involves much high-level repair work on the external walls and parapets.
There is much other work to be done, both internally and externally, but the external walls are the priority, as their poor condition is the primary cause of the internal problems.
Regular worshippers are relatively few in number and just about cover the daily running costs for such an historic building of approximately £200 per day. It is a very worrying situation and we would hate to see such a magnificent structure that has stood here for so many centuries fall into decay in the 21st century.
Could you be a Friend?
You may have been baptised or married here, or you may have family and friends at rest in our churchyard. Whatever your connection please contact us to find out what we have planned and how you can help.
You don’t need to be a regular attendee (or even a Christian) to be involved. The Friends are a non-religious organisation specifically established so that anyone who loves this building and its history can help maintain it for future generations.
I am therefore appealing to you on behalf of the Parochial Church Council in the hope that the people of Ampthill will come to the rescue!