Find out more about our church maintenance grants and fundraising activity from our latest Annual Report!
In 2019 we were pleased to award £152,000 in church maintenance grants to churches in Gloucestershire, South Gloucestershire and North Bristol. The year also saw major developments at the Trust including this new web site and a new style Annual Report.
Our funding comes from you, our supporters, and from the annual Ride+Stride event each September, plus income from our endowment funds. We would like to make special mention of the Summerfield Trust and the Stratton Davis fund of the Diocese of Gloucester who have supported us once again.
Glenn Duff has retired as the Ride+Stride County Organiser having achieved a tremendous result raising a gross £51,000 including gift aid in his final year.
Jonathan MacKechnie-Jarvis, in addition to masterminding our grant awards, has galvanised our operational side. He has been joined by Naomi Buckler, Mike Hayward and Ray Singleton to establish a Communications Committee to promote our activities. We have also welcomed Canon Michael Garland to our Council, and we thank Sylvie Pierce who has retired after eight years service.
We thank all our Trustee, Council and sub-committee members for their tremendous input. They all serve on an entirely voluntary basis enabling our expenses to be minimised.
Finally, after ten years Nicholas Talbot Rice has stepped down as Chairman. We are delighted that Colin Senior has now been confirmed as his replacement from June 2020.
The following are just a few of the churches we have helped in 2019:
Saving precious wall paintings at Stoke Orchard, St James Church - Grant £1,500
The 13th/14th century paintings at Stoke Orchard, near Bishops Cleeve, were exposed in 1952, and are a remarkable survival. They cover all four walls of the nave and depict the life of St James of Compostela.
Wall paintings are the most vulnerable of the treasures in our ancient churches. In the past, much damage has been caused by ill-advised ‘restoration’. It is essential to understand what is happening to the paintings, so the first stage is detailed environmental monitoring which will inform the conservators of any fluctuations in humidity, temperature, and light levels.
We expect to hear more from Stoke Orchard in due course, once conservation proposals are decided upon. The work is bound to be costly.
Meanwhile our Council member Adam Klups, who also happens to be the Church Buildings Officer for the Diocese,will be walking the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela, in aid of this worthy project.
Helping St Oswald’s church in a deprived community of Gloucester - Grant £3,500
Often referred to as St Oswald’s, Coney Hill, this is a church which will not feature in any coffee table book on England’s parish churches.
Nevertheless it is a well built listed church of 1938/39 by Ellery Anderson of Cheltenham. The style has been described as ‘Early Christian’, with its round arches and simple shapes. It’s a world away from the Gothic Revival work which was the norm only a couple of decades earlier. The church serves a former Council housing estate, with serious socio-economic problems.
Proper maintenance of a building of this sort is a first rate investment for the future, so that it may continue to minister to its local community. The Trust was glad to contribute £3,500 to the repair of the roof and improvement of the rainwater goods. An interesting feature can be seen from the drone photo. The tower roof was originally provided with guttering, which takes water to an internal downpipe. This arrangement is virtually impossible to maintain at such a height, and a section of guttering has fallen onto the roof below. The simple solution is to remove it
altogether and allow the rain to drain off to the ground.
Stow on the Wold, Our Lady and St Kenelm Church - Grant £3,500
The small Catholic church at Stow dates from 1836 and was built as a Church of England school. It became a Catholic church in 1918.
The church is within the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Clifton but is almost an island as Burford, Broadway and Chipping Norton Catholic parishes lie within the Archdiocese of Birmingham. The inclusion of St Kenelm in the dedication recalls the boy-king martyr of the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Mercia, the chief centre of which was Winchcombe.
Its facilities will be greatly enhanced with a new loo and a parish office. The work should be complete by the middle of 2020.