St Johns Church recruitment campaign gets off to good start

Trustees and volunteers of St John's Church Preservation Group are elated at recruiting their first 50 'Friends' in order to save the historic church restoration project from imminent closure.

The group used social media, word of mouth and support from local media to kickstart the campaign, which has recruited 52 members in the first three weeks and received sufficient donations to secure the group until the end of June. Deb Brownlee, chair of the group, said:

"The target is 400 Friends, which may sound a lot but we have 1600 followers on our Facebook page and many others who have followed the group closely in the press. The first 50 have now seen how really urgent this is and stepped forward to help.

"We are proud to say that includes members of our volunteer team, who are now giving funds as well as time. Other Friends are relations of former clergy at St John's, people with family connections and some who simply care about Black Country heritage and history."

The new Friends will generate around £350 a month towards the £2000 monthly running costs, and the group is now urging more people to step forward to become Friends of St John's and build the numbers up to the 400 needed to secure the future of the project. Professor Carl Chinn MBE, patron of the group, added:

"This is a great start to creating the Friends group that can save St John's Church again, and this time more securely with a guaranteed income from caring benefactors to cushion and protect the project through bad times and good.

"I'm urging more people to come forward and join the Friends, and make sure this iconic and important building  is not lost forever, like so many others have been".

Anyone can become a Friend, including individuals and companies. The group is asking Friends to pay £5 a month each and details can be obtained by email or by phoning 07522 184461.

Anyone furloughed or unwaged can become a Friend for a reduced cost of £1 per month.


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