Friends of Bath Abbey

The Friends of Bath Abbey has been in existence for over 70 years. Our members are from a wide range of backgrounds and ages. Most live in the Bath area, but some live in other parts of the United Kingdom or overseas. All share the same aim and interest - to help preserve and enhance the Abbey's magnificent architecture and ornaments for the pleasure and enjoyment of present and future generations.

We foster friendship and fellowship among our members by hosting a varied programme of events and activities throughout the year.
Recent events have included a visit to Winchester Cathedral and College and a pilgrimage to Oberammergau.

During 2023 events included:
A Spring Lunch with music, a visit to the WW1 battlefields in the Somme, a visit to George Bayntun Bookshop and Bindery in Bath, a visit to Compton Acres Gardens and the R.N.L.I College in Poole and finally a talk on the Abbey's “Royal Connections”.

During 2024  guided tours of long-established Berkeley Castle and adjacent Dr. Jenner’s House and John Wesley’s historic New Room Methodist Chapel visitor centre in Bristol are planned.

Details and booking information can be downloaded here: Friends Events Booking Form

The Friends can provide a link for those who would like to stay in touch with the life of the Abbey but do not worship there regularly.

The Friends work closely with the Parochial Church Council (PCC). While the Friends are not involved in routine maintenance, they play a major role in embellishments, restoration work and refurbishment. These have included cleaning the East Front, installing the angels in the Quire Screens, refurbishing the chandeliers and creating the new south-west porch. The Friends (both collectively, and as individuals) have financially supported The Footprint Project, and lately a new blower for the organ Tuba stop.

During 2024 The Friends plan to fund 2 major projects:

  • The re-roofing of the Tower, to include a safe walking route and seat. This will make the bell tower watertight and additionally benefit visitors who participate in the Abbey “Step it Up Tours”.
  • New Liturgical Furniture and Choir Stalls.
The Friends of Bath Abbey visit Exeter Cathedral
The Friends of Bath Abbey visit Exeter Cathedral

The Somme 2023

“It was an eye-opening and heart opening experience” undertaken by 40 Friends that none of them will ever forget.
An introduction to the enormity of the vast numbers who lost their lives during the battles of WW1.
Highlights included: Lijssenthoek, Ypres, Talbot House (Toc H) in Poperinghe, The Menin Gate (where the Friends laid a wreath), Vimy Ridge and the Thiepval Memorial to the missing of the Somme – 72,337 names with no known grave.

The devotion with which the Belgians and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission immaculately maintain and tend the memory of the sacrifices made by the men and women was a highlight in itself.

The Bath Abbey Song School Corridor in late 2024
The Bath Abbey Song School Corridor in late 2024
Bath Abbey Quire Screen Angels, and fan vaulted ceiling
Bath Abbey Quire Screen Angels, and fan vaulted ceiling

Legacies

The work of the Abbey Friends benefits enormously from donations and legacies.
Should you be inspired to consider making a bequest in your will then the Treasurer will be pleased to help.
Any legacy or bequest should be to “Friends of Bath Abbey”.

The Friends Executive Committee

This comprises the Rector (as President), the Chairman (who is appointed by the Rector), the Treasurer and 9 Friends (all elected at the Annual General Meeting) and up to 5 representatives of the Parochial Church Council (PCC). The Secretary is appointed by the Committee, which normally meets four times a year to plan projects and events.

President: The Rector, The Revd Canon Guy Bridgewater

Chair: Peter LeRoy
Tel: 01225 873023, panda@leroy.com

Treasurer & Membership Secretary: Mr Brian Webber
Tel 01225 469722, brianwebber3@outlook.com

Secretary: Mr Jeremy Key-Pugh
Tel 01225 427525, JKey-Pugh@bathabbey.org

The Friends of Bath Abbey visit to RNLI College in Poole.
The Friends of Bath Abbey visit to RNLI College in Poole.
Logo for Friends of Bath Abbey

How to Join the Friends of Bath Abbey

The subscription rates are:

  • Individual Member - £15 per annum
  • Joint Members - £25 per annum
  • Life Member - £200
  • Joint Life Members - £300

To join, please download, complete and sign the Membership Form. Then send it to: Brian Webber, Treasurer & Membership Secretary of The Friends of Bath Abbey, c/o Abbey Office, 9 Kingston Buildings, Bath, BA1 1LT

For further information about The Friends, please contact Jeremy Key-Pugh, Secretary of The Friends, see contact details above.

On joining The Friends, you will be entitled to free entry to the Abbey (excluding the tower).