Friends of Stoke Gabriel Church (FOSGC)
FOSGC, or simply the Friends, is a registered charity, which was established in 1995 with the remit to raise funds for the upkeep and maintenance of the parish church (and the churchyard and the Old School Room).
Since its establishment, the Friends have raised funds in excess of £120,000. This has enabled the Parochial Church Council to keep the building in good repair. Numerous projects have been undertaken including repairs to the roof, tower and clock, the re-rendering of the chancel walls, the internal re-decoration of the walls and ceiling, new electrical wiring, and a complete renewal and upgrade of the heating system with an attendant reduction in both the gas bill and carbon emissions.
Membership of the Friends is open to anyone who cares for the church and its historically important fabric, whether or not they are regular worshippers. The annual subscription is a minimum fee of £10 for a single person or £15 for a couple. (There is no maximum amount). With a current membership of about 150, plus gift aid, subscriptions form a major part of the Friends’ annual income.
The Friends’ organisation is not merely about raising funds, but to have fun at the same time through their contribution to the social agenda of the parish. Over the past years, the Friends have organised talks on various topics, quiz nights, variety shows, open gardens with teas, summer evening drinks, barbecues, concerts and vintage car shows. The Friends also issues a regular newsletter.