Friends of St Michael's



Society for the Protection of St Michael's  Rendham  

Update January 2016


Postcards available for sale - depicting St Michael's Rendham

From watercolour by Tory Lawrence April 2012

In aid of the Friends of St Michael's

Available at the back of the church for 50p or call Frances Hill on 01728 664021 

A successful village with a Christian church has existed in Rendham since at least the 11th century: in paragraph 6, 43 of the Domesday Book, "a church with 24 acres" is listed. It was subject to the laws of the land and was already operating within the prevailling bureaucracy. This church was built of wood and is thought to have stood roughly where the nave of St Michael's is now. The church has evolved over the last thousand years but it has always stood at the centre of Rendham life. The present church is now Grade 11* listed, and parts of it date from the 1200's. It needs ongoing repair in order to remain an historic monument and focus for the village activities in the future.


Who We Are: the Friends of St Michael's is a secular charity, established in 2009 in order to raise funds to help preserve the fabric of the church. We only provide funding to ensure the church remains at the centre of the village as its most important historic monument.

Funds raised in 2010 allowed us to contribute towards the repair of the Chancel gable, copings and stone kneelers which hold up the east end of the church. In 2013, the focus turned to treating the roof timbers and redecorating the interior. This all cost an estimated £50,000 and dealt with the most urgent repairs and put the building on a sound footing.


The Wolfson Foundation ( committed £5,000, the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust contributed directly to the PCC, and we secured funding from the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Norman Scarfe Trust, and the Alfred William Charitable Trust. Most impressively, most of the funding came from the Friends of St Michael’s. This was largely thanks to the support of local residents: making donations directly and through LocalGiving, and by attending all sorts of events over many months, from concerts and suppers to varied programme of winter talks.
Our particular thanks to Anji Hart for getting the grant-application ball rolling, and then to trustee, Caroline Stanley who took over from Anji and spent hours on grant applications.  There will be more essential restoration work to undertake, but we can be proud of our achievements to date.
The timbers have been treated for woodworm, there have been a lot of plaster repairs and repointing, the walls have been redecorated with specialist microporous paint, and ventilation has been improved so that the building can breathe.  If you have any questions about the restoration, please contact the churchwardens.
View of the St Michael's Chancel after renovation

What we need from you - anything you can give to help preserve this historic building: cash, cheque, or a longer-term commitment via a standing order. Any financial help will be gratefully received and most welcome.
Please make cheques payable to Friends of St Michael's Church Rendham, and send them to the Chair Helen Payne, Gables Farm, Rendham, IP17 2AY
A standing Order form follows below.
Click here for Standing Order Form
Please notify Helen Payne if this is how you wish to donate. If you are eligible for Gift Aid, please also contact Helen on and she will send you a Gift Aid form

The Committee of the Friends of St Michael's, Rendham, having raised some £40,000 from 2009 - 2014 are now in a less intensive phase of activity. John Carrington retired as Chair and a Trustee in 2014 and we would like to extend our most hearfelt thanks to him for having steered us through such a successful period of our existence.
We do not have a programme of  fundraising activities, although there might be occasional events linked to raising further funds for the charity. The charity will remain in existence and the hope is that new blood will join the effort to continue our work in another, more intense, phase of fund-raising in the future.
In January 2015, our founding Chair, Derek Mangan, sadly passed away. He was Churchwarden of St Michael's, and from this position, he realised how important it was to establish a secular charity for the fabric of the Church if it was to survive the challenging times we would face in the 21st century. His determination and enthusiasm drove through our early fund-raising with enormous success, and the Friends of St Michael's was very close to his heart. His final act of kindness was to stipulate that the retiring collection at his Service of Thanksgiving in February 2015 should be donated to the Friends.
At the end of 2015, two of our  greatly valued Trustees, Dorothea Farquhar and Wendy Wray, moved away and so resigned their roles.
We are delighted to welcome Johnny Carrington as a new Trustee. He is already a supporter of the Friends, having given a gripping lecture in 2011 on 'The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:painting and passion'.
Our successful fund-raising events brought a sense of community to the village as well as generating money for the repair of the Church.
If anyone in the Rendham community would like to join the Friends in organising events in the future to help raise funds and have some fun, please contact any of the Trustees. They are Helen Payne , Chair:, Caroline Stanley:, Johnny Carrington