Celebration of organisation that helps protect our historic churches

Daily Echo: Guests at the service celebrating Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust Guests at the service celebrating Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust

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.

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 Rev James Atwell. Former Dean, the Very Rev Trevor Beeson gave the sermon.

Since its foundation, the trust has raised over £450,000 to give out as grants to historic churches in need of repair work throughout Hamp-shire and the Channel islands.

At the annual meeting staged after the service, trust chairwoman Lady Joan Appleyard revealed that for the first time in its history the body had raised over £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 Hamp-shire County Council leader Cllr Roy Perry.

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

She 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 repair.

The trust’s main fundraising event is an annual Stride and Ride during which participants travel between churches in the region by any means to raise sponsorship. This year’s Stride and Ride 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 the sum of £2,715. The Rev Kevin Arkell accepted the award as 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 staged at Beaulieu Palace House on Saturday, June 14 which is open to non members with tickets at £40. Contact Mrs Meryl Balchin on 01794 368427 for details or email grants@hihct.org.uk.

For more information about the trust and to become a member, visit hihct.org.uk.

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