In order to satisfy a commitment to English Heritage, who provided us with a much-needed grant to repair some damage to our roof, we have to have the church open for a certain number of addtional days a year, over and above when we hold a our regular church services. During this time, members of the general public are encouraged to visit the church.
At the moment, the church is open on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of the month between 9am and 3pm.
Unfortunately, we cannot just open the church and walk away. So someone is always there...... and there is always a pot of coffee on the go as well as a selection of cakes and biscuits and snacks. So please come and visit.
Sometimes we find it useful to do 'jobs' during this time, such as cleaning the church, doing some gardening or decorating the church with flowers or for some special event. Occasionally we have activities out for the children. The Mothers Union sometimes meets during this time, especially if there is an interesting guest speaker.
And then there is the knitting club! This meets between 1.30pm - 3pm. All levels of experience are welcome! We will either teach you from scratch, or you can escape for an hour or so to work your own project. We have a 'stash' of yarn and needles in the church so we can get you started. If you are not really sure what you want to make, we have also made variety of items for 'charities' such as matinee jackets and bonnets for the premature baby unit at the Mayday hospital, Croydon, 'Twiddlemuffs' for the dementia patients at various hospitals and so-called 'fish and chip baby' jumpers for the new borns in Zimbabwe who, when they leave hospital, have no clothes and so they are wrapped up in newspaper! The knitters also made an altar frontal for the Harvest service made out of squares of all sorts of designs and colours with a 'harvest' theme. This has since been divided into two and being used as blankets if it starts to get a bit nippy in church! And last year we knitted poppies which were put together for a wreath for Remembrance Sunday. So no time for idle hands!
We have also used our Open Saturdays to support several of the National Charity Events including The Big Breakfast in May in support of cancer charities, and a MacMillan Coffee Morning in October where we raised just under £600.00. We also make sure we are open for the 'Surrey Ride and Stride', where people are encouraged to get sponsorship to visit as many churches as they can in the day.