Ken’s gate at the entrance to the path from church to school.
Those of us who were fortunate enough to know the late Ken Allen will remember a Gentleman in all respects. In an act of typical generosity he left a substantial legacy for the formation of a trust, defined its objects and chose the trustees with meticulous care. Of those nominated as Trustees, Malcolm Ross, Bernard Atkinson and Ronnie Griffiths, the last is sadly no longer with us; Ken stipulated, too, that we should choose one of the St Mary’s Churchwardens to join our number, and Andy Ward was appointed in August 2007. When Ronnie resigned from the Trust in 2009, Leo Gibb replaced him and we four are still fulfilling today, the wishes Ken expressed in 2006.
The objects which guide us still are: "such charitable purposes as the Trustees in their absolute discretion think fit to advance the Christian religion and the restoration, preservation, repair maintenance, improvement and reconstruction primarily of St Mary’s Church South Baddesley but also to support the South Baddesley Church of England School for such time as it remains a controlled school."
Over the eight years of the Trust’s existence, its contributions to Church and School have been many and various, ranging from the Ken Allen Me-morial Gate which opens on to the path leading from the Church to the School, providing parents and pupils with a safe route from the Church car park to the School, to the payment of the substantial legal fees for the transfer of additional land for the churchyard extension, generously gifted to St Mary’s by Lord Teynham. Other grants have funded refurbishing and re-equipping the School library, engraving a new chalice in the memory of Ken Allen, provision of tables and ga-zebos for use at School and Church events, a road sign directing visitors from Norleywood to the Church, additional sound equipment for St Mary’s and a trophy and awards for the best worship-themed children’s assembly each year.
Every grant is carefully considered with the ultimate test always being a positive answer to the question: "Would Ken have approved"?