The Friends of Christ Church - registered charity no 1088767 - was launched in December 2001. The Friendsí objects are to
support the religious and other charitable works of the Church of England in the Parish of Christ Church.
The first job was to run the Skyline Appeal, which aimed to raise funds for the repair of the church spire at Christ Church. The spire houses the peal of ten bells featured in a poem by Sir John Betjeman. The spire work was completed in 2006 at a cost of £370,000. Contributions to this total were made by a generous bequest, by the Rev'd Simon Stevenette running the London Marathon, and a sponsored walk along the Ridgeway over the Jubilee weekend.
As well as the spire, the Friendsí achievements include landscaping the church grounds, repairs to the Lady Chapel roof and the provision of emergency lighting in the church centre. We have also purchased useful items for the community such as tea urns, a trolley and steps for the choir.
Recently we provided the funds for the installation of a new handrail for the path from the car park to the west door.
You can see a picture here.
We funded the production of the Skyline Sounds II CD, excerpts of which can be heard on this page. For the last few years we have arranged a Christmas charity market in the church and church centre, where charities can set out their stalls and keep their own profits. In 2009 Father Christmas came and distributed sweets.
We also arrange social events such as quiz nights and Beetle Drives and have previously held a number of Burnsí Night celebrations.
There are now over 100 members of the Friends in several different parts of the globe. Membership is a good way for people who have left Swindon to keep in touch with developments at Christ Church with St Maryís. Members receive a newsletter approximately half-yearly and an invitation to the AGM, which usually features a good tea, and an interesting talk, as well as the formal agenda. The membership fees can be paid by cheque or standing order, with gift aid for UK taxpayers. Join us now to help maintain this beautiful building and its presence in our town.
Download our brochure and membership application form
Single members £5 per year / Family members £10 per year / Life members £75