Header Image for Kington St. Michael Village Website
FOSMAA logo

(Friends of St Michael & All Angels Church)

Find us on Facebook

FOSMAA (a secular organisation) was founded in February 2011 and launched on 25th March 2011 with the following aims:

  • To ensure the continued existence of the church as an asset to the village.
  • To make the church building available for community events.
  • To focus interest in the church and increase its ties with the village.
  • To help to increase financial support for the church building.
  • To help to maintain the fabric and churchyard both financially and physically.

It’s no secret that congregation numbers have fallen and income with it, but there’d be uproar if the church closed and became derelict. With its future under threat an independent group of villagers has set up this charity to help the situation. The congregations finance all the day-to-day running costs, but FOSMAA’s intention is to build up a fund to help when major repairs are necessary.

A great idea is to open the church up for anyone to use, from non-believers to the devout, making it a community building and with the additional income helping to maintain its fabric and keep it going for years to come. Did you know that it’s one of only four Grade II* listed buildings in the parish?

If you’d like to become a member please click here to download an application form (and a Gift Aid form if you are a taxpayer). If you would like to make regular donations to FOSMAA please click here to download the standing order form.

FOSMAA has received charitable status for tax purposes with HMRC, under reference XT31728.

FOSMAA committee: Luanne Cullinane, Alison Greenhalgh, Christine Jago (Secretary) tel. (01249) 758377, Malcolm Jago, Cilla Labouchere, Colin Labouchere, Claire Marlow, Lyn North, Jessica Puddy (Treasurer) and Gay Sealy.  

Events
tba

News

2021

Hoorah!   
                                                                                                                     
The new ‘Hub’ in the church was able to enjoy its first social gathering since it was completed and Covid regulations have eased somewhat. 

FOSMAA hub photo, August 2021

From left to right in this photo are Gerry Elms, who supervised all the building work, Joan Gilbert, Tim Woodward and his wife Jan, Cilla Labouchere and Alison Mulley (who were chairman and secretary when FOSMAA - Friends Of St Michael & All Angels church - was formed in October 2010, with the aim of helping to create a user-friendly space in the church as well as supporting the Parochial Church Council with essential upkeep of the building’s fabric), Janet Elms the PCC Chairman, and Colin Labouchere master of all things that need repair.  Seated are Ann Proctor, Margaret Pratley and Barbara Fenner, who are a few of the hundreds of people who have made this possible with gifts, pledges, support at events and in so many ways.  Everyone who has worked on the FOSMAA Committee over the years has done amazing work to achieve this dream.  You know who you are and what you did - THANK YOU everyone.

The building now offers a place for so many new initiatives and enterprises with its lovely hospitality facilities (hot running water!), a disabled-friendly loo and baby changing, toys and games for children, music via both the church organ and an electric organ, and an over-head screen and projector. 

There is more open space than is visible in this photo and it is crying out for gatherings and activities for everyone ranging from 0 to 100+ years.  Being detached the church offers an opportunity for such enterprises as music practice, when loud noise might antagonise close neighbors! 

The PCC continues to be responsible for all the church and religious requirements.  As you might imagine ongoing expenses are heavy, including church insurance and having clergy to lead us.  FOSMAA, on the other hand, is secular, and here to support the fabric of the church, and to ensure that the village still has a church into the next millennium!  Although activities in the church are the overall responsibility of the PCC they are as keen as FOSMAA to ensure that greater use is made of the building to ensure its survival long into the future.

With these facilities complete the time is ripe for new ideas and initiatives. Several of the present committee have ‘put in their all’ for a long time and are ready to hand over to the next generation of enthusiasts.

Plan the next chapter in the history of the church:

FOSMAA will be running a tombola table at the Village Day on the QE2 Field on Saturday 22nd of August.  We will be there to answer all questions you might have about FOSMAA activities.  The PCC will also be there running a cake stall and answering any questions you might have about the running of the church and services.

On Wednesday 25th August at 7.30pm FOSMAA will hold a special gathering in the church (with coffee and light refreshments) to discuss and listen to your ideas on all possible ways to utilize ‘The Hub’. This will be followed by their (very brief) AGM.   

  • Choose a new name for The Hub.  There are several ‘Hubs’ around.  Ideas can be handed in at any time and will be put to a vote!
  • Add ideas to the already extensive list of possible/probable activities.
  • Make arrangements for activities you would like to undertake here.
  • No idea is a bad idea so keep them coming and be part of the church’s future.

Please be prepared to follow Covid regulations.

April: The Silent Auction has raised £3,750!!!  The generosity and support given by all the donors and bidders has surpassed all our expectations.
We will contact the winners of each lot as soon as possible with information on how to pay and to put them in touch with the donor.
The most heart-felt THANK YOU to you all for your support whether your bid was successful or not.

Newsletter
Please click here to read FOSMAA's April newsletter with all the latest news on the upgrading of facilities in the church, and more.

New area in the church 06.04.21  New area in the church 06.04.21
New area in the church 6th April 2021

2020
December:
A visit from Father Christmas
🎅🏻 Ho ho ho -
Father Christmas visited KSM on 17th December, to wish everyone a very  "Happy Christmas".
🦌 The reindeer were resting before the big day, so Father Christmas was
on his sleigh, and passed down the main street, around The Ridings, Town Close, Kyneton Way, The Close, Skillins, The Ham and Paddock End, before departing down Stubbs Lane.🌲


October:

The Friends of Saint Michael and All Angels really need YOU!
FOSMAA is at an exciting point after 10 years of hard work.
The installation of the disabled loo and a hospitality unit, to make the church building more welcoming and usable, is finally underway and we look forward to seeing it enjoyed in new ways by the whole community.
Now, we urgently need new committee members to make sure we are representing all the different groups and views in the village, to keep St Michael’s at the heart of KSM, and help shape our future plans for exciting fundraising events to help maintain the fabric of our beautiful Grade II* listed church.
Join our friendly, creative team and make a real contribution to your community.
We invite you to join our next zoom committee meeting or if you’d just like to find out more without commitment, please get in touch alison.mulley@btinternet.com
We are a secular group and everyone is very welcome.


January:
FOSMAA is trying to raise the last tranche of money that it needs to get the new facilities installed in the church.  With this in mind it has set up a crowd funding appeal on Just Giving. Please take a look and make a donation if you so wish.2019

August update

Hello, I hope that you are having a lovely summer.

Here is an update of our latest FOSMAA news….

Did you know that every year between 20 and 25 churches close in the UK?

Can you imagine Kington St Michael with a closed, empty and abandoned church at its heart?

Our church has been at the centre of village life for over 800 years, we are named after it! It is urgent that we keep this beautiful building open, not just as a place of worship and a focus to celebrate the important times in our lives through weddings, baptisms and funerals, but as a centre where the whole community can gather and enjoy its beauty for all kinds of activities.

The churchyard is also your parish burial ground and a haven for wildlife. You are always very welcome to come and enjoy the tranquillity of this special place.

By installing an accessible toilet, a hospitality area to prepare food and drinks and reconfiguring some of the seating, we will make the church building a warm, welcoming and more usable venue for all the village and help to ensure its survival.

So, the fundraising continues!

We are very grateful to have received a £500 memorial donation which brings our fundraising total closer £76,000.

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Picnic day at The Old Rectory and to Luanne Cullinane for lending us her beautiful gardens.

As well as continuing to apply for grant funding, the committee is planning a programme of events for the coming year with old favourites like the Easter egg hunt and a progressive supper and new ideas such as a Shakespeare in the Garden event at The Old Rectory – watch this space!

As ever, thank you very much for your interest and support and if you have any ideas for events or can support in any way to help us reach that £111,000 target, we would love to hear from you.

Kind regards

Alison Greenhalgh

alison.mulley@btinternet.com

or contact the Laboucheres on (01249) 750222.

August: Our picnic at The Old Rectory was well supported and raised £340 for funds, bringing our fundraising total to around £75,200 of the £111,000 needed.

April: FOSMAA is recycling empty inkjet cartridges to raise funds for the organisation; these can be left at Arch House in Manor Close.  Please check on www.recycly4charity.co.uk to see if yours are recyclable, as not all are.

 

February:  We now have all the necessary permissions for the installation of a meeting and activity area, hospitality facilities and a loo in the church.

Contributions available from the PCC, FOSMAA, and some personal pledges already recieved, amount to £54,800 as at February 20th; the total cost of this project is estimated at £111,000 so we are already almost  half way to our goal.

A large copy of the plans is in the church.  Please go and have a look – the church is normally open from dawn to dusk.

Shortly we will be delivering to every household in the community a form asking if you would be prepared to contribute.  At this stage we are not asking for ‘money now’, preferring to have donations in the form of a pledge.  When we have promises of 90% of the funds needed, we then ask for the funds offered to be put forward.

January:
Village Singers 12.01.19
The Village Singers, based in Sutton Benger and lead by Rachel McCorry, join around 200 other choristers from around the world to sing in the Carnegie Hall in New York on January 21st
.  About 60 members of our local choir and the choir from Frome came to Kington St Michael for their final rehearsal before travelling to New York. Every pew, chair and bench in the church was filled by over 250 visitors. Their generosity provided a further £900 towards the facilities planned for our church.

Bonfire in the Churchyard
Churchyard bonfire 01.01.19Churchyard bonfire gang 01.01.19
Colin Labouchere has pollarded seven of the 23 lime trees in the Churchyard. It is planned to pollard every alternate tree this year and the others next year. On New Year’s Day about 35 members of the village joined forces to feed a massive bonfire and they cleared the entire area. Their work was lubricated with mulled wine and pies. A wonderful job and a great thank you to all the gang.

2018
November: At last we have positive news!
The Diocesan Advisory Committee has finally agreed the plans we have for our church.

With the independently-heated meeting room, loo, hospitality unit and space in which to circulate, the building will provide a top class venue for meetings, concerts, exhibitions, gatherings after services, etc, etc. Subject to a signature by The Chancellor (no problem foreseen following the DAC’s approval) we will be able to start the next step of approaching trusts and grant giving bodies, and Colin Labouchere has offered to master-mind this. The more money the community can raise prior to these approaches the more favourable consideration they are likely to give us.

How you can support right now
With fundraising enjoyment in mind, the Friends of St Michael and All Angels have arranged an Antiques Evening on November 23rd (see above). This promises to be an exceptional event.

Any donations to FOSMAA would be particularly valuable at this time because the more money raised locally, the more trust and grant bodies are willing to offer. We are looking for an estimated £30,000 and donations may be made by contacting the treasurer, Jessica Puddy, on (01249) 750270. 

Thank you so much for your support,
Cilla Labouchere

September: Our fun day and Teddy bear parachuting raised £485 towards installing a toilet and hospitality unit in the church.

2017
September: Our fun day and Teddy bear parachuting raised £410 for funds.

2016
April: Thanks to all those who supported FOSMAA's progressive supper the evening raised over £1,000 for funds.

Fun Day

Fun day 18.09.16
Fun day 18.09.16  Fun day 18.09.16

Kington St Michael Church and grounds were in lively mode on September 18th, when parachuting teddies floated gracefully to the ground or hurtled down the zip wire to the delight of their owners. All imaginary accidents were expertly treated by the Teddy medic, Dr James Labouchere. When a child claimed that his teddy was dead it was embalmed, swaddled in sheeting and became a ‘teddy mummy’ to live forever!

A roller coaster whizzed down the churchyard hill and the cream teas and chocolate fruits were a gourmet’s delight. A big bring & buy stall was kept busy and the church was packed with a noisy and excited crowd when Julian Frost’s beautiful Long Eared European Owl, Yoda, ruffled hair each time she flew overhead.

The day made around £600 for church funds; thank you to all who supported this event.

Tea For The Queen Thankyou: On June 11th the hard working team got wet setting up; they got wet clearing up, but it was warm, dry and an outstandingly relaxed and happy afternoon’s celebration in The Old Rectory garden.
The raffle’s enormous royal crown full of goodies was won by Anita Parsons and the Tea & Tour of Highgrove was won by Lilly Rose (aged 15 months, but her Granny was thrilled!).
The afternoon cleared £1,768.67 for FOSMAA, whose aim is to develop facilities and space within the church to make it welcoming for greater community use. A very big thank you to all providers, helpers and visitors.


A Sontaran and a minion at FOSMAA's fun day 21.09.14

Visitors to the fun day from Earth and elsewhere!

Dalek at the fun day

Sontarans, Minions, Earthlings, a Dalek and more at the fun day 21.09.14

The Extravaganza 2014

Santanda band

Teddy tombola

Extravaganza Tug of War 20.07.14

Santanda band                                                 Teddy tombola
Tug-of-War


St Michael and All Angels Church finances
Please note that the PCC (Parochial Church Council) and FOSMAA are seperate bodies.

Over the years the maintenance and running of the church building and churchyard, together with all aspects of church life have been financed by church members’ regular contributions, fundraising efforts, the proceeds of marriages, baptisms and funerals, donations and contributions from the Parish Council and occasional funds from Wiltshire Historic Churches Funds towards repairs.

Income has declined over the years, and in 2010 by over £7,000 - the worst yet in a single year when costly repairs to the churchyard wall had to be carried out for safety reasons.

Regular subscribers can no longer afford to support the church finances and maintain the building alone and need help to keep the church in its current state as a feature of the village. FOSMAA's objectives are:

  • To ensure the continued existence of the church as an asset to the village.
  • To help to increase financial support for the church building.
  • To help to maintain the fabric and churchyard both financially and physically.
  • To focus interest in the church and increase its ties with the village.
  • To make the church building available for community events.
Anyone who would like to discuss the financial position of St Michael & All Angels Church is welcome to make direct contact with the PCC's Hon. Treasurer, Gerry Elms on (01249) 750423.