Friends of Westmill Church


Minutes of the first meeting to found the “Friends of Westmill Church"

Held on 19th January 2011 at 8.00pm in Westmill Village Hall.


Michael Thody, Judy Thody, Winston Pickup, Rita Pickup, Jaqui McRae, Michael McRae,
Jean Nolan, Kath Nolan, Sue Phipps, Jan James, Jane Sloane, John King, Lucia Knight,
Olga Partridge, Raymond Partridge, Hilary Harding, Graham Harding, Michael Harding,
Heather Gibson, Alan Gibson, Jack Burrell, Sally Cousins, Lesley Wymer, Liz Holland,
Muriel Parsons, Earl Robinson, David Mills, Steve Rainer, John Bowtell, Diane Bowtell,
Nigel Leaney, David McMullen.


Win Robinson, Pat Orchard-Lyle, Ann Gaston, Jenny Marsh, Mavis Backhouse.
Lin McLeod, Jim McLeod.


Michael Thody opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and thanking them for attending.

Obtain agreement to form “Friends of Westmill Church”:

Michael read out the aims and objectives, (a copy of which had been given to all those attending)having been guided by the example of other parishes in Hertfordshire and Essex. (Letchworth lent helpful paperwork).

St. Alban’s solicitor, Mr. David Cheetham has very generously agreed to give advice and to prepare the necessary paperwork (at cost price) to found a charity whose sole function will be to raise funds for the repair and maintenance to the fabric of St. Mary the Virgin Church Westmill. These funds will be used initially for the major project of repair to the Church roof.

The gathered assembly agreed unanimously to these proposals.

The meeting was asked to consider the election of the Officers, as under:

Michael Harding proposed Michael Thody as Chairman, seconded by Muriel Parsons.
Judy Thody proposed Diane Bowtell as Secretary, seconded by Sue Phipps.
Michael Thody proposed Winston Pickup as Treasurer, seconded by Michael McRae.
All three officers were duly elected unanimously.

David Cheetham had recommended that we form a committee of ten people.

The meeting was asked to consider the election of the remaining 7 committee members.

Sue Phipps, Hilary Harding (Church Wardens). Sally Cousins, Jan James, Liz Holland, Raymond Partridge, Nigel Leaney, were proposed by Michael Thody on block and seconded by John King. All 7 committee members were duly elected unanimously.

Transfer of funds already collected:

Michael Thody, thanked Michael Harding and the Church Wardens for their constant support and marvellous efforts in raising funds and generally drawing villagers attention to the critical condition of the Church roof.
Michael Harding then handed Winston Pickup (Treasurer) a cheque for £11,666.

Comments and questions from the floor:

Nigel Leaney kindly offered to set up a web site, and asked if committee members were to be re-elected on an annual or three yearly basis. Nigel also asked if funds would ever be diverted to other charitable causes. Michael Thody stated emphatically that this would not happen.

David McMullen gave a summary of the structural problems that could be encountered on inspection of the Church roof, and a guesstimate of £50-80 thousand repair bill.

Suggestions for fund raising:

Jan James and Liz Holland have offered to organise a 200 club.

It was suggested by Michael Thody that participating members may like to pay a sub of £5 per annum. All funds raised would be gift aided, if possible.

David Mills suggested direct debit mandates.

Sally Cousins and Lesley Wymer suggested they organise a flower festival and musical extravaganza, to be held on the 9th and 10th July, this year.

John King, photographic exhibition, and calendar.

Sue Phipps, musical events. Teas in the Church.

Lin and Jim McLeod, Barn or Square dance.

Mrs. Betty Mildren very kindly offered the use of her garden for teas

David McMullen offered the use of his field for parking. Earl Robinson (Chairman of the Greg
Trust) offered use of Trust facilities.

The date for the first “Friends of Westmill Church” committee meeting was arranged for the 2nd February 2011.

After the meeting was closed, the new committee met to consider documents provided by Barclays
Bank. It was agreed to open a bank account with Barclays and the attached resolutions were approved. It was agreed that the signatories to the account would be The Chairman, The Secretary and The Treasurer and that two of the officials signatures would be needed to carry out any transactions.

The extracts from the Minutes were duly signed by the Chairman and Secretary. The Treasurer was authorised to complete the appropriate paper work.