GHCT 40th Anniversary Celebration

GHCT 40th Anniversary Celebration

Gloucester Cathedral was the perfect setting for our 40th anniversary celebration. The cathedral kindly provided the venue at free of charge, and so many people attended the event that we had to move to the nave for the speeches.

The evening started with a beautiful Choral Evensong, with music written by Gloucestershire composers. The final hymn ‘All my hope on God is founded’ caused a few smiles as the second verse reminded us ‘what with care and toil he buildeth, tower and temple, fall to dust.’ Needless to say, Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust is aiming to stop our precious church buildings falling to dust just yet!

The Chapter House was then packed, as people chatted with friends and acquaintances over canapes and a glass of Gloucestershire wine kindly donated by the Three Choirs Vineyards. Gloucestershire’s Lord-Lieutenant & President of GHCT, Edward Gillespie OBE gave a warm welcome to all.

Having moved to the nave, Chairman Colin Senior was able to reflect on the highlights of the last forty years, and thank those that had made significant contributions to the life of the trust, many of whom were in attendance. He also explained how we are aiming to raise £1,000 for each of the years we’ve helped historic churches in our 40th anniversary year. This will enable us to support many more projects over the coming years. Colin was thrilled to announce you have already given a marvelous £37,000 towards our £40,000 target!

Colin then introduced Sir Simon Jenkins who has been a great friend of the trust, and indeed has recently allowed us to freely publish his book ‘Simon Jenkins’ Favourite Churches of Gloucestershire and Bristol’, which is an extract from his famous ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’. It was wonderful news to hear that Sir Simon Jenkins has just accepted the role of being one of the trust’s vice-presidents.

So the evening was finished with a thought-provoking and heartfelt speech by Sir Simon Jenkins, our newest vice-president. He spoke about the richness of our heritage found in England’s parish churches. But he reflected that while churches form around half of our listed buildings, they do not have the government or institutional support that many other listed buildings enjoy. Indeed, our parish churches rely almost entirely on voluntary support, and on the support of grant organisations like the Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust. That’s why the work of the trust is so important.

We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who attended the event, and also to everyone who has donated to the appeal so far. Your support is keeping our living heritage alive. We will keep you updated on our website and social media channels as we get closer to our £40,000 goal. You can still donate, and get your free copy of our 40th anniversary book by Sir Simon Jenkins.

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