The Friends of St Mary’s
The Friends exists to support the Church in the maintenance and upkeep of the fabric of this historic church
Recent projects have included the overhaul of the church's 1,668 pipe organ which is more than 100 years old; the restoration of the weathered 'Benson' West Window and currently the renovation of the ancient 14c clock mechanism.
Like many ancient churches, St Mary’s has a continual need for regular repairs and restoration work. Our Friends help contribute towards the costs of preservation of the fabric of the church, towards repairs, replacement of major items, and help with the maintenance costs of fixtures of special importance.
Friends’ funds are not used for general housekeeping costs, such as heating, lighting, costs of services etc. These are borne by the Parochial Church Council. Friends help to ensure that:
- the fabric of the church is preserved for future generations.
- the church is available to everyone for worship and family occasions such as baptisms, weddings and funerals
- the church continues to be an important part of the community of Rye and available for the many visitors who come to this part of the South Coast.
How to become a Friend of St Mary’s
Anyone, from anywhere, of any faith or none, can be a Friend, regardless of whether they are, or are not, a member of the church. Friends pay a small annual subscription, which gives them:
Automatic free admission to the Church Tower and its magnificent views over town and marsh.
A twice yearly newsletter.
Invitations to a lively programme of lectures, tours, concerts and social events organised by the Friends.
But the real benefit of being a Friend lies in knowing that one is helping to look after Rye’s landmark church, which plays such an important part in the life of the town – a visual focal point, a visitor attraction, a place for public events, as well as being a centuries-old centre of worship.
To become a friend, simply fill in the attached form and either hand it in at the church or mail it to the Membership Secretary, May Cottage, Jarrett’s Close.
The annual subscription is £10, or £15 for couples.