"excel in this grace of giving" (2 Cor. 8:7)

Making Friends

We Brits love our heritage and churches are part of it. Anglicans look after over 80% of England's listed places of worship, over 12000 churches including 4,200 Grade 1 churches, nearly half of all Grade 1 buildings. Caring for this heritage costs the time and money of unsung heroes in our churches. But they are not alone. Many don't attend but want to help. A Friends group may be a way forward. The stories on this page capture the variety of what Friends do and how they support their church.
St Helen's, Sefton in Liverpool (pic: Ian Simpson) has had an active Friends group for 25 years, one of maybe 2000 or more Friends groups, formal and informal, supporting local churches. Friends groups come in all sizes and levels of activity and provide much needed financial support and, just as important, often contribute to the social fabric and link the church to the wider community. Chapter three of Beyond the Collection Plate tells the story of St Helen's and St Alban's in Tattenhall, Cheshire, suggests some of the benefits of a Friends group, pitfalls to avoid and offers guidance on setting up a Friends group and where to go for more advice.