In 1995, Sir Richard Best, churchwarden of St John the Divine Church, Patching, responded to an appeal from the Parochial Church Council, to tackle the C.of E.'s failing ability to maintain the two churches of Clapham and Patching.
His response was to propose a 'Friends' Charity, dedicated to supporting the two 12th century Grade I listed buildings, by raising funds for their "upkeep and beautification".
In late 1996 this Registered Charity was instituted, with a committee of dedicated villagers, a constitution and a fresh resolve to safeguard the churches for current and future village residents and for following generations. Events were enthusiastically arranged for fund-raising for the charity and also as a new drive to enhance our community spirit.
Sadly Dick passed away in 2014, but his chairmanship of the Friends' charity leaves a legacy of care which lives on today.
This is a transcription of the narration to the video tribute to Dick, as an epilogue to 'Ten Years of Friendship' presentation which was given in the Village Hall in May 2007, to mark the tenth anniversary of the charity's founding. This was written at a time when Dick was still with us.