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Fit for the Future

by glynch — last modified 12 Nov, 2015 03:09 PM

Eleven churches helped this quarter alone by Dorset Historic Churches Trust

Dorset Historic Churches Trust has awarded over £50,000 in grants to churches in the county during the last quarter of 2015, for vital repairs, maintenance and restoration work. These grants bring the total awarded by the Trust this year to £100,000.

Grants were allocated to 11 parish churches across Dorset, including Stoke Abbott, Steeple, Stalbridge, Puddletown, Margaret Marsh, Leigh, Hinton St Mary, Cranborne, Ferndown, Kinson, and St Peter and St Paul’s  in Blandford. 

Funding from Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) will go towards new lighting, heating and guttering, fixing roofs and floors and repairing worn-out stonework. Further grants were awarded to churches in Dorset earlier in the year, to help conserve the County’s historic churches for generations to come.       

Simon Pomeroy, Chairman of DHCT, commented: “We are delighted to be able to award these grants to churches across Dorset. The repair works we help fund are often desperately needed. We rely on fundraising activity and donations by our many supporters and especially the Friends of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust to make our work possible. We would like to say thank you to everyone who took part in our Ride+Stride event earlier this year and hope as many – if not more – people will join in the fun next year.”

The annual Ride+Stride event is the Trust’s main source of fundraising. The event involves some 200 parish and church communities across the county and this year’s total is £77,000 and still rising.

Over 50 Friends of the Trust attended the Trust’s Autumn meeting at Wimborne Minster recently to celebrate the work of the charity.

The afternoon event began with an organ recital to demonstrate the capabilities of the Minster’s organ, rebuilt in 1865 by J W Walker. By remarkable coincidence, the performance was given by  David Bruce-Payne, the renowned Dorset organist who is Walker’s great-grandson, who played a variety of pieces and  accompanied  a small choir drawn from The Harmonia Singers.

DHCT Trustee, Dr. Tim Connor, then treated guests to a brief overview of the Minster’s history, from its inception as a nunnery c. 705AD to the present day. The official Minster guides also gave the group a more detailed account.

The Friends were invited to take a guided tour of the magnificent building, which included the Minster’s 15th Century astronomical clock, the fascinating structure of the building  and the tombs of important historical figures buried there. Friends were also shown the Chained Library, founded in 1686 as one of the first public libraries in the country, which contains early books on gardening, medicine, law, etiquette and building, as well as Walton’s Polyglott Bible of 1657 in nine languages.

Then  followed a talk from Sue Smith, an acknowledged expert on church glass, who spoke about the stained glass in the Minster’s extensive windows. To conclude the afternoon, Friends enjoyed afternoon tea together in the Priest’s House Museum.

New Friends are always welcome and DHCT encourage anyone interested to collect a Trust leaflet from their local church or visit



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