This year we have managed to keep the Church open between 1pm and 5pm every Sunday from 5th June to 25th September and have welcomed a staggering total of over 900 visitors. This has only been possible thanks to the time given by many of you in the congregation. 27 different people have helped, many of which offered several Sundays, giving a total of 68 opening hours and 136 volunteer hours. A huge thank you to you all.
Many people who came in said they have often walked past the church but have never before seen it open, others are walking along the river path and just find us. Some specifically come to see the building and learn about its history whilst some are looking for a place of quiet. Interests are therefore quite varied and people come from near and far. We have a few dogs, one of which was signed into the visitors’ book on the final week! Information on services and other activities are given out and we have seen some people attend St Mary’s who first came here through ‘Open Church’.
The Summer Recital series took place at 3pm each Sunday between 24th July and 4th September. Open Church volunteers, in addition to their welcome to visitors, also welcomed people to these concerts and provided tea and coffee afterwards.
London Open House weekend took place 17th – 18th September and attracted a mixture of visitors. Some came for St Mary’s fair on the Saturday and some specifically for Open House. Whilst it is difficult to record numbers on the day of the fair there were at least 130 over the two days. Sven Tester kindly brought his display of historical information and documents for visitors to see together with his great knowledge of the church and local history. Additional helpers were available on these two days.
Thank you again to all who helped make people welcome
Libby Bradshaw 07956 655037, [email protected]