The Berkshire Historic Churches Trust was set up in 1984. Its objective is to raise funds to help with the cost of repairs to the fabric of Christian churches in Berkshire of any denomination belonging to or associated with Churches Together in England.
The Trust’s aim is to encourage churches to make use of their buildings for the benefit of the community at large if this can be achieved without compromising the architectural quality of the church. As its funds are small it can only grant aid works other than to the fabric of the worship area if they are of some architectural or historical importance.
The Trust is supported entirely by voluntary subscriptions, donations and legacies. The more money it receives, the more help it can give. Between 1988 and 2021 the Trust has given away nearly £700,000 in grants varying in size between £200 and £10,000. In the financial year 2020-21, it has supported a range of projects from repairs to the bell tower and spire at St Peter’s, Woolhampton (shown right), to repairs to windows at St James, Leckhampstead, to the provision of new facilities at Woodley Emnanuel, and a new roof alarm at All Saints, Wokingham.
The latest Annual Report is out now – click here or on the image shown here to read it.
Ride+Stride, the annual fund-raiser for the Berkshire Historic Churches Trust, is on Saturday 10th September this year. Please put the date in your diary and join us that day to visit as many churches as you can. Half of all the money you raise goes straight to the church of your choice – the other half will help to support other churches in need of help throughout Berkshire. More information is available here.
Being a Berkshire resident almost all of my life I have come across many very beautiful and historic churches scattered throughout the county. As the former Bishop of Reading has remarked, one finds these lovely buildings on hilltops, nestling in the folds of hills, or on bends in rivers, all there waiting to be discovered. The repair and maintenance of these churches is beyond the means of most of the communities which they serve. The Berkshire Churches Trust exists to help maintain and restore these hidden gems and to alleviate the struggle to do so faced by the parishes. Many local parochial church councils are deeply grateful to the Trust for their support encouragement and help. Your help will enable our churches to remain open, not only for today but for many generations to come.
James Puxley, Lord Lieutenant