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How you can help us raise money for St Michael & All Angels Restoration Fund
1. Saturday December 9th: Betjeman in Bedford Park
A gala evening at St Michael & All Angels church, Bedford Park, to celebrate John Betjeman's role in its restoration 40 years ago and its recent repainting, for the first time since then. There'll be readings from Betjeman's poems, radio scripts and articles, music from the Bedford Park Wind Quintet, and an exhibition of pictures and articles about his role in preserving Bedford Park.
The readers include the vicar, Father Kevin Morris, and three actors and broadcasters who've made Bedford Park their home: Gavin Campbell, best-known as a presenter on BBC TV's That's Life and recently seen in 'Murder Most Horrid'; John Rowe, a familiar face from The Lost Prince and series such as Dalziell & Pascoe; and Joanna McCallum, most recently seen on stage in Peter Hall's production of Habeas Corpus.
There'll be refreshments from 7.30pm, with the performance starting at 8pm. Tickets, price £15 - including the first glass of wine and canapes in the interval - are available from the Parish Office, Priory Avenue, W4 1TX (020 8994 1380). The event is in aid of St Michael's restoration fund. http://www.chiswickw4.com/stmichaels/
John Betjeman and Bedford Park
Sir John Betjeman helped save the first garden suburb, Bedford Park, from property developers in the 1960s. He said Bedford Park in Chiswick, London W4, was "the most significant suburb built in the last century, probably the most significant in the Western world". He called its parish church, St Michael & All Angels, "a very lovely church and a fine example of Norman Shaw's work".
"So where better to mark the culmination of Betjeman's centenary year?" says Father Kevin Morris, vicar of St Michael's. "Sir John loved Victorian houses and churches and his support was highly influential in the battle to save Bedford Park."
Forty years ago, Betjeman helped preserve Bedford Park - the first garden suburb - from demolition. Developers - including Acton Council - had begun knocking down the large Victorian houses and replacing them with modern blocks of flats. Betjeman became patron of the Bedford Park Society, the preservation group formed in 1963, and of the Bedford Park Festival, which was set up in 1967 to foster a sense of community and raise funds for the repair of St Michael & All Angels Church.
In 1967, as a result of the campaign, no fewer than 356 Bedford Park houses were listed Grade II, together with other buildings including St Michael's.
2. Paint a Pew or Paint a Panel
More formally known as the Benefactors' Book, this allows parishioners - and others - to donate money for the decoration of specific areas of the church. Their names will be inscribed in a leather-bound book, which will become part of the Church's archive, with details of each donation. The donation levels are based on the actual costs associated with painting each pew or 3-sq-ft panel, as follows:
Pews/Servers benches £200 each (Servers' benches all sold now)
Nave per unit/panel (3 sq ft) £50
Rood screen per unit/panel (3 sq ft) £75
Chancel per unit/panel (3 sq ft) £100
You can pick up a form in church or contact the Parish Office on 020 8994 1380.
3. St Michael's Christmas Card
Once again we're selling a St Michael's Christmas card in aid of the redecoration of the church. This year's is by Oliver West and shows the porch of St Michael's in the snow. You can see it on the St Michael's front page (click link at top of this page). It is on sale in the church at the Cards for Good Causes shop. As last year, they'll be sold in packets of 10 for £3.50 and we hope they'll sell out shortly before the stall closes on December 16th.
St Michael & All Angels - Repair and Redecoration Project:
Progress report and autumn 2006 fund-raising plans: September 2006
1. St Michael's redecoration project is progressing well. Alan Trigle writes: "I am delighted to report that we appear to be within budget and am assured that we should finish on schedule in November. Many thanks to those who have made interest-free loans to help finance the work. The best news is that all the repainted sections I have seen look wonderful and the final result will be very beautiful indeed." (A much fuller report appears in the October edition of the Clarion, available in the church.)
2. The money is coming in well too.
The 2006 Bedford Park Festival accounts have been signed off. The Festival made a profit of £33,042 (of which 10 per cent is reinvested in the Festival itself). Of the distributable profit, £14,869 has gone to the redecoration fund and £7,434 to the St Michael & All Angels Trust, which is providing a loan for the project. The remainder goes to this year's two external charities, the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (£6,434) and the Upper Room (£1,000). Thank you to everyone who helped us raise such a terrific amount.
Thanks too to all those who came to the roast lunch in the Michael Room, kindly prepared by Alan Trigle and Jane Lenton. It attracted over 60 people and made a profit of around £350 for the redecoration fund. A further £200 was raised by the recent scaffolding tours of the parts of St Michael's that normally can't be reached.
3. But there is a great deal of money still to be raised. The figures are broadly as follows:
We have completed and paid for Phase 1 of the Repair and Redecoration Project - the exterior works - which cost £100,000.
The cost of Phase 2 - the interior - is about £185,000, of which we've paid £44,000. The rest is covered by loans - from the congregation and others - and we still need to raise a further £141,000. We need to do this quickly, because we are having to pay interest on some of the loans.
We have an exciting programme of fund-raising events this autumn, to encourage you to make further contributions.
4. We've launched a Paint-a-Pew and Paint-a-Panel scheme - more formally known as the Benefactors' Book. This is intended to allow parishioners - and others - to donate money for the decoration of specific areas of the church. Their names will be inscribed in a leather-bound book, which will become part of the Church's archive, with details of each donation. The donation levels are based on the actual costs associated with painting each pew or 3-sq-ft panel, as follows:
Pews/Servers benches £200 each
Nave per unit (3 sq ft) £50
Rood screen per unit (3 sq ft) £75
Chancel per unit (3 sq ft) £100
This Sunday, envelopes will be given to the sidespeople to distribute (one per family) allowing people to tick the amount they'd like to donate. They can hand the envelopes in, either with the collection plate, or to a sidesperson, or into the Parish Office. The envelopes will be available on other Sundays too.
5. On Saturday December 9th, we're holding a 'Betjeman in Bedford Park' evening, as the first major event in the newly restored church and the last event of the Betjeman centenary year. This will be a very special evening, in the run-up to Christmas, so please put it in your diary now.
There'll be poems and music, as well as contributions marking Betjeman's role in saving Bedford Park from the developers - as patron of the Bedford Park Society and the Bedford Park Festival. The readings will be by Gavin Campbell, John Rowe and Father Kevin Morris, with a few celebrity surprises. The atmosphere will be festive, with canapes in the interval and the bar open before and afterwards, starting at 7.30 for 8pm. All profits will go to the church's restoration fund. Tickets will be £15 a head, including canapes, and will be available from November from the Parish Office on 020 8994 1380.
6. Once again we're selling a St Michael's Christmas card in aid of the redecoration of the church. Last year's - which sold out - was a watercolour of the church cupola by Nigel Woolner. This year's is by Oliver West and shows the porch of St Michael's in the snow. It will be on sale in the church at the Cards for Good Causes shop, which opens on November 8th. As last year, they'll be sold in packets of 10 for £3.50 and we hope they'll sell out shortly before the stall closes on December 16th.
Earlier fund-raising events - 2005
Chiswick Landmark gets Makeover
St. Michael's to hold ball to pay for renovations
One of Chiswick’s best-loved landmarks, the cupola on the roof of St Michael & All Angels church, will be hidden by scaffolding for the next three months.
It is being repaired, in the first phase of a major restoration project at the church. The dormer windows in the church roof are also being repaired and the interior - with its famous green woodwork - is due to be redecorated next year.
The work will cost around £200,000 and to help raise the money, St Michael’s is holding a Michaelmas Ball on Saturday September 24th at Chiswick Town Hall. The black-tie event includes a champagne reception, a four-course dinner, a disco, a casino and an auction.
“We last held a Ball three years ago to help pay for the redevelopment of our Parish Hall and it was a fabulous evening” said the vicar of St Michael’s, Father Kevin Morris. “We’re hoping this one will be even better - and we're encouraging everyone to come.”
The repair and redecoration project is the latest in a programme of restoration that began 40 years ago. The beautiful and unusual Victorian church had fallen on hard times and the Bedford Park Festival was set up to raise money for repairs and redecoration.
Father Morris said: “In 1967, one of my predecessors launched the Festival, to help ‘restore St Michael’s Church to its original splendour’ and restore a sense of local community. That helped pay for the redecoration of the interior and, almost 40 years on, it needs repainting again. The cupola was last repaired 25 years ago, when the church had its new roof."
St Michael's was designed by the architect Norman Shaw, whose well-known buildings include Old Scotland Yard, The Royal Geographical Society headquarters and Cragside in Northumberland, now owned by the National Trust. Shaw's biographer, the architectural historian Andrew Saint, says St Michael's has "probably the best-preserved Norman Shaw interior in London".
Tickets for the Michaelmas Ball cost £50 a head and can be ordered from Susanna Russell on 020 8747 0731or at email@example.com. Or cheques can be made out to St Michael & All Angels and sent, with a covering note and a stamped addressed envelope, to: Michaelmas Ball, St Michael & All Angels Parish Office, Priory Avenue, London W4 1TX. (Tel: 020 8994 1380).
November 25, 2006
listing of forthcoming events at St. Michael and All Angels
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