CHURCHWARDENS gathered at Winchester’s Great Hall to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust (HIHCT).

Around 150 people were welcomed by the trust chairman Lady Appleyard to enjoy performances from members of the Hampshire Music Service.

Since 1988 HIHCT has provided grants and loans in excess of £540,000 to help repair, restore and maintain churches, their contents and churchyards.

More than 300 churches and chapels of all denominations in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight have benefited.

The trust’s main annual fundraiser is the sponsored Ride and Stride, this year on Saturday, September 13.

Last year the event raised more than £53,000 with a team from Winchester Cathedral raising the most by walkers covering 15 miles to visit 34 churches and raising £2,715.