We are grateful to our friends at the National Churches Trust who have given us grants to support our churches. We’re pleased to share information about the Trust and ways you can support their work.
What did Winston Churchill and Clement Attlee agree on? Both were trustees – at the same time – of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust, now called the National Churches Trust.
After the War, when church repairs had been suspended for ten years, the UK’s heritage of tens of thousands of church buildings was in a sorry state. Those that had been Blitzed were simply left as shells. Arguably, the UK’s churches are the richest and most varied collection of architecture in the world. Our charity was formed, giving grants to keep churches standing.
Now we support churches to stay open and in use. We lobby for them, and we give money for repairs and facilities. Church buildings might be the greatest heritage challenge the UK faces. Our work is more essential than ever. Churches provide beds for homeless people, and most of the country’s food banks. They run mum-and-toddler activities, and workshops for children. For lonely and older people, especially in the countryside, coffee mornings bring a sense of community, and a place to make friends. With choirs, organs, orchestras, bands, operas, jazz and more, churches are the single-most important venue for music performed in leisure time.
At the National Churches Trust, we have dedicated officers in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Unlike galleries and museums, mostly found in big towns and cities, there’s a church near everyone. But because congregations often have to fund repairs themselves, many are having to close. This cuts off a lifeline for a whole community.
Almost half of us will visit a church this year – those with faith, and those with none. Our Friends are the core of our support. As little as £3.50 a month will help us go on helping hundreds of churches each year. www.nationalchurchestrust.org/friends
Photo: St Lawrence, Bardney, Lincolnshire. Credit: Push Creativity