Annual Report

The Trust publishes an annual report each year summarising our grant and fundraising activity for the previous year.

In 2018 £151,000 was awarded in grants to churches in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and North Bristol and we aim to increase this in 2019.

Our annual Ride+Stride event also raised £42,891 which was shared with churches in the area.

The following are just a few of the churches we have helped in 2018:

St Mary’s Church, Kingswood

St Mary’s Church, Kingswood

The church was built in 1722, though it has been enlarged and much restored since. From the Georgian origins of the church there is a fine chandelier, font and commandment boards.

In recent years the church has become much more user-friendly, with a loo, small kitchen and a glazed screen separating the north transept, which is now a versatile meeting area.

About five years ago the church was relit and redecorated; the nave ceiling and associated details were whitened and given an eighteenth century flavour, using colours associated with the altarpiece of 1723.

The congregation at St Mary’s have been enthusiastic Ride+Stride participants over the last ten years, often raising four-figure sums. In 2018 the Trust made a grant of £6000 towards overhaul of the organ.

The instrument dates from 1868 and is by William Sweetland of Bath. Ian Fox, the Diocesan Organs Adviser, describes it as a historic gem, very largely untouched by later ‘improvements’.

Westbury on Severn, St Mary, St Peter and St Paul.

Westbury on Severn, St Mary, St Peter and St Paul.

The saga of the Westbury spire will not be quickly forgotten by those most closely involved. A monumental detached tower and spire of 160 feet, listed grade one, clad in 38,000 wooden shingles and containing a complex mediaeval timber structure … and all this in addition to a church building far too large for the present congregation.

The need for reshingling was becoming urgent a decade ago, and with help from English Heritage (as it then was) the project eventually got underway. The condition of the timber structure proved far worse than expected and the costs soared.

Eventually the vast scaffolding structure was removed, leaving the spire temporarily covered with plastic sheeting. With incredible determination, the local volunteers battled on and with massive Heritage Lottery Fund support, the job was finished in early 2019.

A new gilded cockerel was fixed in place on 4th February, filmed by drone cameras. The Trust has made two grants totalling £20000 towards the work.

St Andrew, Avonmouth

St Andrew, Avonmouth

This church has been completely transformed by a huge reordering project known as Re-ignite, completed in in 2018. St Andrew’s church was badly damaged by a fire bomb in 1941 and re-opened in 1957.

Fifty years later the church and hall presented a drab and outdated appearance, and the parish
is to be congratulated for their vision and determination.

The church is now much more suited to the needs of modern worship, while the hall now functions
as a Social Justice Hub, complementing the nearby Community Centre. The Trust helped with a grant of £10,000 towards the project.