The Friends of St. John's (FOSJ)
Stands the Church clock at ten to three …. well, no, not as yet!
My short note in the September issue of the Forum, heralding the cleaning and repainting of the clock on the tower of St John’s this autumn, was rather ahead of itself.
The scaffolding went up some weeks ago and work started but the early coat of paint did not harden and showed streaking due to the rain. On the advice of the specialists, Smiths of Derby - and rather than spoil the finished job - this coat has been removed and a temporary grey primer applied to protect the clock face through the winter.
The refurbished hands will be refitted but there will be no lettering. And so, sadly, for the time being at least, no glancing up at the tower to check the time as generations have done.
The scaffolding will now come down, to be re-erected when Smiths come back in 2022 to complete the work, once the weather conditions are better.
The other delay is the planned re-opening of the Alresford Community Cinema, where The Friends of St John’s have raised over £8000 for these works. It had been intended to open the cinema in late October but the delay there has, of course, been Covid-related rather than anything to do with the restoration. But we will
be back in the early spring. (And I hope I don’t have to eat my words again!)
Jan Field, Chairman, Friends of St John’s
Common heritage: common asset
An introduction to the Friends of St John’s
This non-religious association was set up in 2018 to promote the community value of the parish church of St John the Baptist, New Alresford, the adjoining John Pearson Hall and churchyard, and to maintain and improve them. It is for people of all faiths or none, who are interested in preserving and improving it as a centre piece of the town and for historical and heritage reasons, as well as its spiritual significance.
Why does St John’s need a Friends association?
The current church dates to the late 19th century; some parts are older. Not surprisingly, it needs occasional repairs - some minor, some major – and ongoing improvement.
The good news is that St John’s is valued by the community, whether church-goers or not. It ceremonially marks local families’ passage through life, and moments of national celebration and remembrance.
Together with the John Pearson Hall and surrounding church yard, St John’s can host artistic, cultural and social events, as well as providing a tranquil haven for quiet contemplation. Indeed, in medieval times, churches were often used for community activities, so this is not so very ‘new’ after all
So, the Friends have two primary aims:
1. To promote St John’s as a community space for use by the town’s residents and many visitors.
2. To raise funds for the repair and improvement of the structure of the church, John Pearson Hall, and the churchyard, and so maintain them for the future.
All proceeds go projects such as re-facing the clock on the tower in 2021.
We have set up the Alresford Community Cinema showing the latest Box Office films & occasional ‘oldies’: a giant screen, high quality sound, and you can enjoy a glass of wine and free nibbles! For details of latest screenings, visit: www.alresfordcommunitycinema.com
Future plans also include literary, performance and visual arts
Donations & Membership
Our events are open to everyone but FoSJ is also a membership organisation and is registered with the HMRC to receive Gift Aid.
Single member £12pa
Joint members £20pa
Founder lifetime member – min. one-off payment £200
Corporate membership - contact us.
For further information about the Friends and/or to request a membership form, our address is Friends of St John’s, Alresford, c/o Benefice Office of St John’s, West Street, SO24 9AG or contact:
Chairman: Jan Field email: email@example.com
Treasurer: David Boddy email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie Saunders: email: email@example.com
Irene Spencer: email: firstname.lastname@example.org