In 2009, Wateringbury’s Vicar and Rural Dean, Reverend Jim Brown and the Parochial Church Council, invited me to consider forming a new village fund raising organisation that would enable repair and maintenance of Wateringbury’s church and church yard.   I decided early on that we should seek the widest community support, reaching out to all those who like myself and my wife saw the church as a core element in the day to day life of our community.

Today I am delighted to say that with the help of many dedicated volunteers from across our local community we have now established The Friends of Wateringbury Church (FOWC), a registered charity (No 1151983) which aims to help to maintain, preserve and improve the building and churchyard of St John the Baptist in Wateringbury, thereby promoting public interest in the church, its history and its work.

The charity is run by a Board of 11 Trustees, chaired by the Founder of FOWC, William English, CBE.  Initially, the FOWC started its work in March 2011 as a fund raising organisation (no Gift Aid) however, the FOWC went on to achieve charitable status on 03 March 2012.  Recognised by HM Revenue and Customs all donations since 03 March 2012 are eligible for Gift Aid. The Honorary President of FOWC is Revd Nick Williams, Vicar to the Benefice of East Malling, Wateringbury and Teston.

Since starting fund raising the FOWC has raised approximately £31,000, some of which has been used to create a new inner porch door for the Church and in latter years the generation of financial support for the re-shingling of the Church Spire.  FOWC funding combined by other funds found by the Parochial Church Council (PCC) hope to see this project come to fruition.  This latter project is a legacy project and should last for generations enabling the church to continue to support the parish.

In this particular note I would like to thank everyone who has to date has offered so much support to the development of FOWC and the achievement of its aim/objectives, be it through funding or support in kind.  Without such support, which is made more impressive in a time of national austerity, we would not have achieved all that we have: the establishment of a recognised charitable fund raising mechanism; the raising of funds; and the delivery of our first project – the new glass door in the church porch.  Truly, for those who have given support o to date, your legacy to our community is already being felt.

Anyone can become a Friend of Wateringbury Church, even if they aren’t living in the parish. Perhaps you may value the building, its history and traditions, or just feel it’s important for the village to keep the church in good condition.  Whatever the reason, everyone is welcome to join – and all donations are eligible for Gift Aid

Our task is to raise funds in support of our aim.  If you would like to help by either offering funding for the first time, making an addition to your existing funding, or making a one off donation please contact our Secretary, Frances English: 01622 812471 and/or friends@fowc.org.uk


Thank you for your Support,

William English, CBE

Founder and Chairman the FOWC