The Friends of St. Nicholas’and Wisley Churches.
Supporting the two Norman Churches in the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford
The Friends of St. Nicholas’ and Wisley Churches is a Trust registered with the Charity Commission to help in the preservation of St. Nicholas' Church and Wisley Church both as places of prayer and public worship and for their historical interest and charm.
The Trust was originally set up in 1995 to support St. Nicholas’ Church only. Over the past 20 years the Trust had built up considerable funds and has financed a number of important projects in that church. With the approval of the Charity Commission, and after consultation with existing Friends, the Trustees decided to extend the scope of the original Trust so that today the scope of The Friends of St. Nicholas’ and Wisley Churches extends to St. Nicholas’ Church and its closed churchyard together with its sister church at Wisley and its churchyard. It also includes the Old School Room adjacent to St. Nicholas' which serves as the church hall, and the church car park.
Built around 1140, St. Nicholas’ is one of the oldest parish churches in Surrey that stands as a complete building of one period. The church, a Grade 1 listed building, has been used as a regular place of worship for over 850 years and continues to be so. The church's attraction was well set out by the distinguished Victorian architect Sir Thomas Jackson who wrote: "Humble and modest as the church is, it has always seemed to me the very model of a small English church. Nothing could be happier than the site chosen for it on the brow of a steep slope overlooking the broad meadows through which winds the River Wey with Newark Priory in the middle distance and the chalk hills beyond."
Wisley church has also come down to us from Norman times and has been in regular use since that period. The site of the church is low-lying close by the river Wey and there is evidence of habitation in the area from Iron Age times. In earlier times Wisley Church was the more important of the two Norman churches in what was later to become the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford.
The responsibility for keeping these two Norman churches in the standard of repair and attention that their importance requires falls upon the Parochial Church Council of the Parish of Wisley with Pyrford. However many friends and visitors to St. Nicholas' and Wisley, both from within the Parish and from wider areas, have a great affection for these two historic buildings and would wish to assist in their continued maintenance.
The aim of the Trustees is to provide funds to help with the upkeep of these churches and with any additional projects that arise from time to time. In addition to donations and legacies from the public, regular fund raising events and the sale of Christmas cards contribute to our reserves.
We invite you to support our work by becoming a Friend of St. Nicholas’ and Wisley Churches and contributing either by way of an annual or single payment donation, or by leaving the Friends a legacy. Unless directed otherwise new donations will be placed in the Trust’s General Unrestricted Fund which will allow the Trustees to use such donations for any of the Trust’s objects. However, if you wish to support only one of the two churches you can stipulate that your donation should be placed in one of two Restricted Funds, one for St. Nicholas’ and one for Wisley.
Your support will help to ensure the future of these two lovely churches. You will also receive annual accounts and newsletters which will keep you informed of progress and forthcoming events.
The Trustees of the Friends of St Nicholas’ and Wisley Churches are:
- Revd Nicholas Aiken (Chairman)
- David Pollard (Treasurer)
- Roger Holt (Churchwarden, St Nicholas' Church)
- Richard MacCutchan (Churchwarden, Wisley Church)
- Gill Ankers
- Ian Howell
- Eldon Sandys
If you wish to become a Friend of St. Nicholas’ and Wisley Churches please contact David Pollard 01932 342343.
A Flower Festival was held at St. Nicholas' church between 24-26 June 2016. 24 church and community groups participated by
producing floral displays based on the theme of 'The Saints'.
It is estimated that some 500 people visited the Festival which raised £3,300 for the Friends.
Each year we produce a Christmas card, and the 2016 card features a new design using a photograph of Wisley church' under snow. It was taken by Ditz.
For those who have moved away from the Parish, these cards often bring back fond memories of life in the village and of the churches.
Open Gardens Afternoon: June 2015
The sun shone on the gardens in Pyrford on Sunday 21 June 2015 as over 120 visitors inspected five gardens that had been opened to the public to raise money for the upkeep of St. Nicholas’ church. The Open Gardens event was organised by the Friends of St. Nicholas’ church and raised over £1,100.
Visitors were able to discuss garden design with the owners and share information and experiences about various plants or simply stand back and enjoy the colour of the gardens. Various plants were on sale at one of the gardens and towards the end of the afternoon tea and cakes were available for visitors to enjoy as they compared notes.