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Home News Former Iwerne Valley Churchwarden is new Dorset charity Chair

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Former Iwerne Valley Churchwarden is new Dorset charity Chair

by Michael Ford last modified 29 Jan, 2019 03:41 PM

Former Army Major General John Stokoe CB CBE, a former churchwarden at St Nicholas’ Ashmore, has been appointed as the new chairman of The Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT), the major conservation charity that supports repairs and conservation to historic church buildings in the county.

Mr Stokoe, who lives in Sherborne, was a churchwarden at the small church on the Wiltshire border in the Iwerne Valley Benefice for a number of years before moving to the Abbey town.

His first role as the new chairman was to join in the celebrations at St Mary and St Bartholomew, Cranborne, where a new kitchenette and toilet, part-funded by a DHCT grant, were dedicated by the Venerable Antony MacRow-Wood, Archdeacon of Dorset.

Mr Stokoe gained considerable commercial experience in the Private Sector, principally in the Construction, Science and Technology fields. He is an experienced non-executive director of NHS Foundation Trusts and is an ambassador for the Defence Medical Welfare Service. He said of his appointment:
“I am really looking forward to working with DHCT as it builds on its strong reputation. Our historic church buildings face many challenges and the Trust’s goal is to preserve their heritage and sustain them into the future. We are determined that, wherever possible, our churches will be in good repair and able to serve the communities in a range of ways.” 

Dr Richard Brown, Churchwarden Emeritus, who has managed the project at the Church of St Mary and St Bartholomew, Cranborne, welcomed Mr Stokoe to his new post and thanked the Trust for its much-appreciated support.
“This work marks the completion of a long-held dream for Cranborne church. We look to the future with great optimism.”

Dr Brown emphasised how important it is for churches to keep up with the needs of congregations in the 21st century. The new facilities follow a major upgrade to the lighting in the church, which was also grant-aided by the Trust a couple of years ago.

Also at the dedication on Sunday 20 January, was the DHCT’s out-going Chairman Simon Pomeroy who, after a long association with the Trust, has served as its Chairman for the last eight years.

The DHCT’s main fund-raiser is the annual Ride+Stride event in September, when supporters from nearly 200 churches and chapels of all denominations are sponsored to visit churches across the county on foot, on a bike or on a horse.

This year the event raised over £85,000, enabling the Trust to budget over £110,000 for grants in the forthcoming year.

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