Friends of St Mary's

The Friends of St Mary's

The Friends of St Mary’s (FOSM) is a sub-committee of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, East Preston with Kingston, whose objective is to raise funds for the upkeep, improvement and development of the fabric of the Church building. It does not contribute to the general running of the church.


The main fund raising activity is the EPIC Appeal. For further information, go to the EPIC Appeal page


The financial accounts for 2020 have been completed and are currently waiting for approval. The 2021 General Meeting will be held either online or in the Spire Room, depending on whether the Covid restrictions have been sufficioently relaxed by May.



Aims and Objectives

The Friends of St Mary’s (FOSM) is a sub-committee of the Church of St Mary the Virgin, East Preston with Kingston. Its objective is to raise funds for the upkeep, improvement and development of the fabric of the Church building. It does not contribute to the general running of the church.

Effect of Covid-19   Nobody would have thought at the start of 2020 that Covid would affect the rest of the year and continue to do so in 2021. This has affected the fund raising activities of the Friends of St Mary's as it has everyone else. It is hoped that with the success of the vaccination programme, it will soon be possible to ease restrictions and allow participation in the usual village activities of the East Preston Festival, Horticultural Summer Show and Food and Drink Festival.

Although there may not have been much public appearance of the Friends of St Marys, work has been going on behind the scenes to apply for funding grants to make up the £100,000 required by the EPIC Appeal Fund for the restoration work of the church.


What has been achieved so far

In 2009, with the assistance of a grant from the SITA Trust, the following work was completed at a cost of over £30,000:

  • Restoration of the North East corner of the Church 
  • Roof of the North Door Porch partially repaired 
  • Renewal of the stone stairs leading up to the tower 
  • Roof of the Lych Gate re-grouted 
  • Re-rendering of the North and East outside walls
  • Replacement of Perspex window covers with steel grills
  • Repair of a blister on the chancel inside wall

In 2018, the following work was completed at a total cost of £46,000, of which FOSM committed £30,000 

  • South Side of the Tower was re-rendered to prevent damp entering the church
  • A metal handrail was installed in the spiral Tower Staircase to comply with Health and Safety regulations

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What is planned to be achieved

The most important and costly of the remaining items include:

            Re-rendering the North wall and refurbishment of rainwater goods.                  £35,000

            Repair and renew stonework externally and internally.                                      £28,000

            Renew lighting to save future costs.                                                                  £20,000

            Extend lightning conductor.                                                                                £10,000

                                                                                                                           Total:    £93,000


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Committee and Members of the Friends of St Mary's


Chairman:     Malcolm McLelland

Secretary:      Jack Cogman

Treasurer:      John Harbidge

Committee Members: Jacky Collett, Stella Collier, Carol Cogman, Dorothy Lee, Valerie Sharp, Fr. Andrew Perry, Rev. Emma Ham-Riche


New members of the committee are always welcome. If you would just like to help the Friends of St Mary's, why not become a member?

Membership costs only £10/year for an individual or £15/year for a family.

Details are given in the Membership Application Form

As this form cannot be filled in on-line at the moment, please print a copy and return to the address shown.


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Formation of the Friends of St Mary's

Early in 2006 Saint Mary’s Church was in a desperate financial state with regards to a regular income and was not in a position to deal with expensive repairs to the building. The Church authorities were pursuing a plan to install a mobile phone mast in the church tower, and thus be able to attract a steady income of about £5000 per year.The Group who were later to become the “Friends of Saint Mary’s”, were opposed to the scheme and so started a lively campaign to oppose it. In the end, it was agreed that there would not be a mobile phone mast on the tower, but that the Church was a vital focal point in the village, and must be kept in a good state of preservation for all to enjoy.

Although many of the original group were not part of the St Mary's congregation, they volunteered their services to the Church to help preserve the church building. So “The Friends of Saint Mary’s” came into being with the specific objective of spearheading the financing of the restoration and maintenance of the building, rather than to add to the general church funds.

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Contact Us


Phone: 01903 412961

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Data Protection Policy

The General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018 give greater protection to personal data than existed previously. Under the GDPR, all organisations, which includes the Friends of St Mary’s (FOSM), are allowed to collect and use personal data where they have a legitimate reason in doing so. This policy explains how the Friends of St Mary’s uses your personal data in compliance with the GDPR.

FOSM holds personal data obtained from your application form for which you have given consent, e.g. postal address etc.. These details will only be used to contact you in connection with FOSM business, such as newsletters, notices of meetings and events. The data are held on a computer dedicated to maintaining a membership database. This file is password protected and any backups are similarly password protected. 

FOSM also holds for a limited time the bank account details of those members who pay by standing order.

Data is retained while membership is active and for no more than two years after membership has ceased.

General Practice:

  1. Data Sharing: 

No data is shared with any third party, be it an organisation or an individual, without the explicit permission of the member whose data it is. The member in question will be specifically asked for this permission. 

The only exception will be if the information is required by law.

  1. BCC (Blind Copy) for emails:

Emails sent to the general membership are distributed using the BCC (blind copy) facility, so that no member’s email address is disclosed to another.

  1. Personal Data Files:

Data files containing personal data must be encrypted or password protected.

  1. Information Requests:

Members of the Friends of St Mary’s are entitled to ask for information on any data that it holds for them. FOSM members and members of the public are entitled to ask for the FOSM Data Protection Policy. These requests will be logged.

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