The trustees of The Friends of The Church of St Philleigh (The Friends) would like to welcome you to this AGM and take this opportunity to express their gratitude for the generosity and continued support that you and our regular visitors have generously and freely given to our rural Parish Church this past year.

The Friends are pleased to report once again, that with your support, enough funds have been successfully raised to support the maintenance and repair of The Parish Church of St Philleigh. Without this support the St Philleigh Parish Church would fall into disrepair and be at risk of closure which would be a great loss not only for the church’s congregation and its mission but all of the people who live and work in this tiny rural community and beyond. Hence The Friends and its supporters should take great pride in having raised these funds which relies heavily on the very popular and classic ‘Philleigh Country Fayre’ and ‘Dog & Hog events’, which The Friends organise each year in the months of July and August. Each year The Friends manage to cater for and welcome several thousand people who come to visit this small village, set deep in the heart of the Roseland Peninsula, to enjoy the fun and in turn financially support our charitable objects.

The population of Philleigh is only 135 people yet each year a willing and energetic band of more than 80 volunteers from within the parish and elsewhere faithfully turn out to volunteer their services in support of this worthy cause. The Trust is also grateful for the generous provision of the barns, several fields and other resources that are freely provided each year by the Pascoe family as well as many other people who freely volunteer their resources, time and talents. As a result of this generosity and the good will of our visitors The Trust raised £9,411.77 in 2015 (which included £457.00 of donations and claimed gift aid of £378.77) of which £4,517.64 was given to The Church of St Philleigh PCC for the building. Whilst the function of the Fayres is to raise funds for the Church of St Philleigh, these Fayres are also a major event for the mission of the church and the community calendar that puts Philleigh on the map and creates a great sense of inclusiveness amongst the people of the Philleigh Parish as well as extending a welcome and hospitality to people visiting this rural idyll from further afield.

The Friends are also grateful for those people who kindly provide regular ‘gift aided’ donations. The Fayres are always held in the open and always at risk to the weather so this income can never be guaranteed in the future. Hence this extra source of revenue (25p in the pound) from the HMRC provides The Friends with a more secure and sustainable source of income. You are encouraged to consider joining the ‘Friends Gift Aid Scheme’ and do the same. Before you leave maybe you could fill in a ‘Gift Aid form’ or if you prefer please write to the Treasurer at the registered address for The Friends (set out below) and you will be sent a form in the post.

The support the trust receives from its ‘Friends’ is essential and ‘Friends’, whether they be volunteers, donors, regular visitors to the Annual Fayres or people from our surrounding communities, all can share the trustee’s responsibility of stewardship in supporting The Church of St Philleigh with its mission to its congregation, the parish and wider community for many generations to come. In so doing ensuring that the Church, as the people, is enabled to grow the Kingdom of God and that the ‘mission’ of the church is a blessing not only to the many visitors to this place but also to those others here and around the world who are not as blessed as we are.

In 2015 the Trust reviewed and updated the risks it faces in running public events to ensure that robust Health & Safety Standards and adequate Public Liability Insurance are in place to cover these risks in line with the growing demands for the health & safety of the public when attending these events. The Trustees took time aside in 2015 to review its obligations and compliance with its Trust Objects and Governing Document. As well as this the Trustees reviewed the Charity Commission’s new guidelines issued in 2015 on ‘The Role & Responsibilities of a Trustee’, ‘The Essential Trustee’ and ‘Hallmarks of an Effective Charity’. It also considered the proposal to convert the Trust, which is currently an ‘Unincorporated Charity’, into a ‘Charitable Incorporated Organisation – CIO’.

The Friends and the PCC never take for granted the amazing effort put into the running of the Fayres by everybody who supports these events. The Trust and the PCC are always very grateful for the ongoing dedication of all of those volunteers, too many to mention by name, who diligently work, sometimes for long hours, behind the scenes to make these Fayres the success that they are. So the Board of Trustees of The Friends say a very big thank you, loudly echoed by The Church of St Philleigh PCC to all of you ‘Friends’ as well. You will always be very welcome to join in and share some more fun together again this summer and at other events that The Friends will organise from time to time.

Finally, it is with great pleasure that The Trustees announce the appointment of Robert Clifford Wing as a new Trustee and the more importantly the new Chair of The Friends of the Church of St Philleigh. Please extend to Robert a warm welcome and offer him your support as he takes up this new role and responsibility this year.

Martin Edwards