Hope Parish Website

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FRIENDS NEWS

Our 2016 Report has now been distributed to all Friends, so if you didn’t received your personal copy do get in touch! Here is a summary of the main activities we carried out in 2016 with plans for 2017. There are always application forms at the back of church for those who wish to become members – all are welcome!

Trevor Memorial after conservationAs ever, we are grateful for the continuing support from our members, for kind bequests which have come our way, and for several grants which help with our work. They all help to keep our much loved ancient church in good repair, allow us to conserve many of the features of the church which reflect its history, and where appropriate to install new features which will reflect our own presence here.

LOOKING BACK

Stained Glass Panel in North Wall Window George III Memorial after Conservation Between 2013 and 2015 our main activities included the setting of our ancient Celtic Cross into the stonework of the Lady Chapel,the conservation of the Sir John Trevor memorials, the conservation of our ‘George III’ Coat of arms memorial, and the installation of a new stained glass panel in the window by the pulpit
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2016 ACTIVITIES

George III Coat of Arms Painting
George III Coat of Arms painting after conservation

The pictures here show our coat of arms, painted on wood, after conservation, and also the writing on the back indicating a date of 1792 – more accurate than that on the marble memorial!
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Back of George III painting showing date of painting
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Conservation of the 18th Century Benefaction Board

Staff from M&G Transport removing the Benefaction BoardOur main project this year was the conservation of the 18th Century Benefaction Board which hangs in the west entrance
to the church. We were anxious to ensure that the wooden structure was sound and safe, and to ensure that the historical record it contains is not lost to further deterioration.

The entries, the last of which is dated 1720, list the gifts made by benefactors; most detail money or food to be distributed to the poor but there is also an entry showing a silver “flagon and salver” to be given to the church.

We are grateful to Dianne Britton, conservator at Britton and Storey, for the painstaking work she did to bring back to life the stories that the board tells. Below you can see a section of the board before and after the work was carried
out.

Thanks are also due to the specialist removal team from M&G Transport who with loving care removed the board from the wall, transported it to and from the conservators, and returned it again to its old home on the wall of the tower.
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Section of Benefaction Board before conservation Section of Benefaction Board after conservation

Logo of the Society of Antiquaries of London And last but not least we wish to thank the Society of Antiquaries who provided us with a grant of £1,500 from their Morris fund.
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Looking forward
Having completed a number of projects over the last few years we now wish to provide a more detailed guide to some of features of the church to provide a walk through the centuries for both visitors and church members – what we are calling a ‘Heritage Trail’.
We also wish to support work to improve the west entrance to the church. The ancient outer door is in need of repair and the 20th Century inner door needs to provide more light and fewer drafts! We hope this work will help to maintain the fabric of the church and make the entrance more welcoming.

Membership
Sadly we have said farewell this year to two of our members. We currently have 56 members and are keen to recruit more people who have an interest in the building and its history as well as those who are church members, so please pass on the message.

Finances for 2016
£4,040.06 = BALANCE JANUARY 2016

£2,038.77 = DONATIONS RECEIVED
£345.00 = GIFT AID RECEIVED

£2,878.50 = EXPENSES NET OF GRANTS RECEIVED

£3,555.33 = BALANCE DECEMBER 2016

Contacts
Chairman : Mr David Pickering
Secretary: Mrs Gloria Rawlinson
Treasurer: Mrs Pat Grimshaw Smith

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REPORT ISSUED DECEMBER 2015

“George III” Coat of Arms
Autumn of 2015 saw the conservation of what is commonly known in church as the George III memorial. The first picture shows the image before work was carried out – the second image shows the results of conservation!
George III coat of arms conservation

The George III coat of arms after conservation
This Coat of Arms has always been a curiosity since it shows a date of 1825, 5 years after George III died! Our conservator, Diane Britton, informs us that the writing at the top and bottom (George III and the date 1825) was added by an unskilled hand much later. Research has shown that our particular coat of arms covered the dates 1760-1801, after which the French quarter (top right) was removed from the royal coat of arms. It was compulsory to display a royal coat of arms in churches for many years – but there seems to have been some flexibility about the details!!

Displays at monthly Activity Days

During our monthly Saturday Activity Afternoons when refreshments are available along with the record books and tower tours we now display an increasing number of artefacts. These include an ancient quern stone together with a book about querns; some medieval wood and nails discovered during the restoration, and a book by Martin Crampin about medieval glass in North Wales which includes references to our own west window. We will continue to develop this activity.

Benefaction Board
The Benefaction Board in the entrance dates from 1723 and gives details of those helping the poor. This year we have prepared for its conservation, requesting and obtaining a Faculty (permission to proceed) and securing a grant of £1500 (to be paid in 2016) from the William Morris Fund; this will help considerably in meeting the expected cost of approximately £3500.
The Board will be removed from the wall and transported to a workshop, then re-fixed securely to the wall. Britton and Storey will carry out the work in the New Year.

Membership
We now have 58 members and are keen to recruit more people who have an interest in the building and its history as well as those who are church members, so please pass on the message.

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LOOKING BACK ON 2014
We are pleased to report that your support has helped us to achieve much since our last report towards conserving both the fabric and the items of interest within the church.

Head of Celtic Cross in East WallCeltic Cross
Last Christmas saw us celebrating the installation of our Celtic Cross into the stonework of the Lady Chapel. There is now an information board hanging by the cross, a continuing point of special interest which links us back to those who lived and worshiped here a thousand years ago.

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New Stained Glass Panel

Stained Glass Panel in North Wall Window
In the spring a new stained glass panel was installed in the north aisle window just above the pulpit.

The panel was sponsored by our Chairman and family and the panel shows church bells and sheep, reflecting the church’s bell-ringing tradition and the sheep in our churchyard.

At the bottom of the panel is a quotation from psalm 121, “I lift mine eyes up unto the hills, from whence cometh my help?”
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The Trevor Memorials
Our most significant project this year was the cleaning and conservation of the Trevor Memorials, both the inscription to the right of the Lady Chapel altar and the effigies which are near the font.
Elliott Ryder Conservation, prepared a detailed report about the memorials, and in May Kieron Elliott and Anna Barnes worked meticulously over a period of two weeks to clean the monuments and carry out essential repairs. Their work revealed details and colours masked by the passage of time.

In addition to money supplied from the Friends funds we were grateful to receive support with both finance and advice from the Pilgrim Trust, a charity with an interest in conserving buildings and their artefacts.

The newly conserved image of Sir John Trevor and his wife
The picture on the front of the card sent to members shows how vibrant the images are when well lit, and one remaining task is to set up an LED light which can be turned on when appropriate and will illuminate the images without damaging them. We also plan to display a translation of the inscription.

Other use of funds
Patches of damp on the walls near the organ and low down on the north wall were causing concern and in late 2013 Friends shared the cost of this work with the Church itself.

Looking to the future
The Benefaction Board in the entrance dates from 1723 and gives details of those helping the poor. It needs to be conserved so that the information is not lost and we hope this work will proceed
during 2015. In addition we are seeking advice on how to conserve the small areas of medieval wall painting which are currently visible, and several other smaller items.

Heritage Trail
One of our overall aims as Friends of the church is to improve the experience for those visiting the church, and this year has seen a particularly large number of visitors.
Several schools now visit the church on a regular basis, and we have been particularly busy with our involvement in the local commemorations of the start of World War I.

During all these visits the wealth of history which the church demonstrates has been significant, and we are anxious to move forward now and to provide a heritage trail round the church, picking out features from various periods in history. Work has already started on this.

Membership
We now have 52 members and are keen to recruit more people who have an interest in the building and its history as well as those who are church members, so please pass on the message.

Contacts
Chairman : Mr David Pickering
Secretary: Mrs Gloria Rawlinson
Treasurer: Mrs Pat Grimshaw Smith

May we wish all Friends a joyful and peaceful Christmas and a happy 2015

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THE BACKGROUND TO FRIENDS
“The Friends of Hope Parish Church” was launched in September 2012. Its aim is to provide a way for a broad range of supporters to become involved in ensuring that our Grade I listed building, originating in the 12th Century, is preserved and enjoyed by the coming generations, so anyone will be welcome to join.

Our Heritage – A much loved building
Standing proudly in the centre of Hope village, the Parish Church, dedicated to St Cyngar & St Cynfarch, is a landmark building loved and admired by worshippers and visitors alike.

It is an important part of Flintshire’s heritage and it is impossible to imagine this part of the Alyn valley without a view of the church. It is important to many more people than those who worship here regularly, but until now there has been no regular way to actively support this Grade I listed building, or to be involved in its future.

The Friends of Hope Parish Church is therefore being launched, and will qualify for charitable status.

Past, present and future

The church probably began as a small wooden building sited in part of the current south aisle, and was replaced by a small stone building towards the end of the 12th century. Over time the south aisle was extended, a north aisle added, and then a tower added during the 16th century.

The building faced serious problems during the 1990s, but was restored during a Millennium Project generously supported by the congregation, the wider community, CADW and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The task of looking after this 900 year old building is the responsibility of the Parish’s Church Council, (PCC). The church has been kept in good repair since the Millennium Restoration, but maintaining and improving this important building so that we can pass it on in good condition to our successors is a heavy responsibility for a relatively small group of people.

Purpose of the Friends

The purpose of Friends of Hope Parish Church is to raise funds for the preservation and development of the church building and the listed items in the churchyard.

It will not have any responsibility for running expenses of the church, for worship activities or for the church hall.

Friends will receive regular newsletters giving information about projects that the Friends are supporting.

Why become a friend?

Do you feel an affinity with the building and its history and value its place in our heritage?

Do you love the church and value its place in the normal rites of life – baptisms, weddings and funerals, but hesitate to give a total commitment in terms of faith and commitment to God?

Do you have a personal or family connection with our church but are not able to attend regularly because you live away from the area?

Are you already an active member of our parish, but wish through the Friends to play a more active role in guaranteeing the future of the building?

What could your money do?

These are some of the projects we hope to tackle in the near future:

Improve the visitor experience by providing enhanced information about the many historic features in and around the church

Preserve and display our 9th century Celtic cross base

Replace the old and inefficient floodlights

Install emergency lighting for safe evacuation of the building

You may well have ideas of your own – suggestions are welcome.

Who can join, and what will it cost?

Anyone will be welcome as a friend of Hope Parish Church for a minimum annual membership of £10, or life membership of £200.

If you are a UK taxpayer we will be able to reclaim 25p on every pound donated, so that your minimum annual membership would be worth £12.50 to our funds.

What can you do now

Download our application form and return to us – details of contacts are on the form Click here

If you have any queries please emails us info@hopeparishflintshire.org.uk

Don’t forget to give us your name and contact information.

Thank you!