History and aims

In 1931 our founder Dr W.T.Farncombe, and friends,had the foresight to anticipate that the Parish alone might not be able to fund all the necessary Abbey repairs and upkeep.

The aims of the Friends are: The preservation, repair, maintenance, restoration and improvement of the fabric of Pershore Abbey including its furniture, ornaments and contents for the benefit of the Public.

The Friends currently has over 500 members. many come from the Pershore area but others live further afield, or overseas.

You do not need to be a churchgoer to become a Friend, nor do you need any particular connection with the Abbey. 'Friends' are well-wishers who are glad to offer support to the Abbey, and to be kept in touch with its activities.

Thanks to the accumulated giving by individual Friends and careful financial management over the years, the friends of Pershore Abbey were able to support major restoration works in the Abbey. In 1996/97 the Friends contributed over £300,000 (around a third of the total cost) towards urgent strengthening of the south transcept and tower, Quinquennial maintenance works throughout the Abbey, the new flooring in the nave and side aisles, new lighting installations, acoustics and general electrical work.

This support has been ongoing and recent years have seen the Friends help fund the repairs that regularly occur is such an old building and the period since 2005 has seen an expenditure of £45,000 on a host on small works on the roof, tower, guttering and the results of subsidence. Every year brings a need - sometimes small, sometimes large - in which the Friends are able to play a part. On occasion we are able to provide those little extras - the Saxon Pit railings, refurbishment of the Flower and Vicars Vestry - that the Abbey not only needs but deserves.

See pictures relating to past maintenance here.

2011 will see a further major commitment to Abbey repairs and we have resolved to assist with up to £60,000 for the complete replacement of the South Transept Window which has been badly damaged by footballs and for repairs to the Tower Roof. With our support the Abbey has been able to obtain additional grant support and the PCC is arranging for these works to proceed early in 2011. Hopefully repairs to the Clerestory windows will follow.

Our funds are limited and the Friends are unable to meet all of the needs of the Abbey fabric. The Friends have concentrated on keeping the building weatherproof and are unable to fund all the work which will be needed in the future. The clock and carillon still awaits full restoration at a cost of £20,000; the Nave path outside the West door needs £10,000; a new Sound System £9,000. The finances of the Abbey are very similar today to what they were in Dr Farncombe's day - there will always be work beyond the financial resources of the Abbey. The Abbey's budget for its running costs in 2011 is £200,000 and its income is well short of this. If you would like to help- either via the Friends or to the Abbey do please see the section "How Can I Help?".

See here for a downloadable Friends’ leaflet and membership application form.