For those that don't know, The Friends of Holy Trinity launched with a splash in the Sutton Coldfield Observer in September 2013. Fuelled by a desire for our church to engage more strongly with the Sutton Coldfield community, enhance the use of our historic building beyond the normal worship pattern, and to raise much-needed additional funds for the fabric and building, the group was born.
I am completely convinced that opening our church to the wider community in this way will encourage others to see our building and worship as something that is truly accessible to them. In my view, the true success of the Friends will be measured by the additional people we draw to services or to one of the many groups that we run. As an indication of this, it was extremely encouraging to see our highest attendance in recent years at the Carols by Candlelight service.
We were delighted to secure the support of Rt Hon Andrew MP as Friends patron and several local businesses who have committed sponsorship support including Dignity plc and CM2000 Limited. It's fantastic to see that with a true partnership approach, businesses can and will engage with us.
There are many ways that an individual can support the objectives of the Friends including by purchasing a membership subscription for individual, family or lifetime. We already have over 80 paid-up members from within the church community and beyond. Membership includes our regular newsletters and updates and the chance to receive complimentary programmes at all events.
Of course, the other way to support the Friends is by attending one of the great concerts or events that we have lined up. Over 300 attended November's inaugural Royal Town Gala Concert hosted by TV's Don Maclean, raising over £2500. The Christmas Tree Festival which followed raised over £1500. Together with membership subscriptions, we have now raised over £6,500 towards our annual target of £15,000.
Next on the agenda is a concert by award-winning Canoldir Male Voice Choir on Saturday 8th February at 7.30pm at the church. Tickets priced at £10 (Adult), £5 (Under 18) and £25 (Family - up to 2 Adults & 3 Under 18s) are now available to buy online at www.htsc.org.uk or in person from the Trinity Centre office.
As we approach a year since the Friends committee first met, thoughts turn to ... what's next? If the Friends - as we aim - continues its efforts for a 2nd season, we will need to have another year of events and concerts planned by early summer. Who knows, we could get braver next year .... drama, lunchtime recitals, a history festival??? Any thoughts or ideas are always warmly received!