Volunteers' Week: Working to ensure a 'much loved' village church remains the centre of the community


Helen Daltry, a PCC (Parochial Church Council) Treasurer, describes her role supporting a 'much loved' village church, to mark Volunteers' Week.
Helen Daltry

When Helen Daltry took up her voluntary role as Parochial Church Council (PCC) treasurer at her village church she brought extensive experience from her professional career as a specialist in sponsorship and organisation of major sports events.

Her role involves ensuring the church, St James the Great in Cranham, Gloucestershire – a central focus of the village - remains financially viable and that it fundraises to preserve its fabric.

She is currently involved in a drive to restore the church’s organ, first installed in the 19th century and built by the well-known firm Lewis & Co of Brixton, south London.

To reach the £38,000 fundraising target, she is overseeing a busy schedule of fundraising events that has included an Organathon, a non-stop day of playing the organ by 15 local organists that raised nearly £3,000 towards the target.

The restoration work has also received a £2,717 grant from The Pilgrim Trust, distributed by the Church of England Cathedrals and Church Buildings department, and a grant of £3000 from the Cecil Adams Organ Fund, administered by Gloucester Diocesan Advisory Committee.

The church has a link to Gustav Holst who composed the music to the carol In the Bleak Midwinter while staying in the village in the 19th century.

“I am a mathematician and I like being the Treasurer. I am enjoying working to ensure that the church remains viable and invests its money properly, raises funds and looks after the church fabric,” Mrs Daltry said.

“The village is small and the church is very beautiful. Whether people are churchgoers or not, the villagers support the church and help through work such as cleaning, mowing the churchyard and arranging flowers. It is a hub for the village and much loved.”