TEWKESBURY ABBEY, with its massive Norman tower, is one of the finest medieval churches in England. It is as wonderful an example of Norman architecture as can be found anywhere in the country. The townsfolk of Tewkesbury saved the building from destruction by purchasing it for £453 from King Henry VIII in 1540 at the dissolution of the monasteries.
The Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey was formed in 1934 by the vicar at that time. Edward Pountney Gough. It exists to assist in caring for the Abbey, in preserving it, together with its goods and ornaments, and in safeguarding it for future generations. The Abbey does not have the status or revenues of a cathedral and depends upon its visitors and friends from all over the world to help with its maintenance. In recent years the Friends has provided grants in excess of £1.5 million towards:
* Repairs to the Camera Cantorum roof
* Restoration of the Milton Organ
* Repairs to the stonework of the North Porch
* Repairs to the South Side of the Abbey
* New internal lighting
* New sound system
* Triptych and candlesticks for St Edmund’s Chapel
This is in addition to a number of smaller grants for various projects to preserve and enhance the beauty of the Abbey.
Officers of the Friends 2019 – 2020
The Friends of Tewkesbury Abbey is a registered UK charity (number 211236) and has a Council of 19 Trustees to oversee its activities. The current Officer holders are:
Chairman – Mr Graham Finch
Vice-Chairman – Dr Andrew Crowther
Treasurer – Mr Hugh Sweet
Secretary – Mrs Karen Vincent
The Elections to Council take place at the Annual General Meeting held in July each year. Members of Council serve a 3 year term.
The Friends’ Constitution by which it is governed can be downloaded from this link.