WINCHESTER Cathedral made an ideal setting for the final event to be staged as part of the silver jubilee celebrations
of an organisation dedicated to preserving historic churches in Hampshire.

The Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust marked the end of a year of events, culminating with a special service carried out by the dean of the
cathedral, the Very Revd James Atwell.

Former dean, the Very Revd Trevor Beeson, gave the sermon.

Since its foundation, the trust has raised more than £450,000 to give out as grants to historic churches in need of repair work throughout Hampshire and the Channel Islands.

And at the annual meeting (AM) staged after the service,
trust chairman Lady Joan Appleyard revealed that for the
first time in its history the body had raised more than £60,000 in a single year during its anniversary celebrations.

“We have had a marvellous year. Our thanks to the dean
who asks us to consider the cathedral as our AGM home. It is a marvellous venue,”

Lady Appleyard told members and guests, including leader of Hampshire County Council, Cllr Roy Perry.

Lady Appleyard said the trust had raised a total of £64,871 in the last year.

The chairman also announced a £50,000 grant from Hampshire County Council to be allocated over the next two years by the trust to churches in need of

The trust’s main fundraising event is an annual Stride
and Ride, where participants travel between churches in the region by any means to raise sponsorship.

This year’s event will take place on September 13.

Awards were given out to those who raised the most funds at last year’s Stride and Ride event.

Canon Richard Lindley represented Winchester Cathedral, which raised £2,715.

The Rev Kevin Arkell accepted the award of a grant for £500 for Newport Minster for the most imaginative scheme in the event.

And Rev Will Hughes and his family won the award for the family contribution, which was donated by Wightlink ferries.

The year’s events have included a party in the Great Hall at Winchester.

The trust’s summer outing this year will be to churches in east Hampshire.

There will also be a champagne reception at Palace House, Beaulieu, on Saturday, June 14, open to non members.

Tickets are £40. Call Meryl Balchin on 01794 368427.