National Churches Trust: 60 Not Out!

by Gerry Lynch last modified 03 Dec, 2013 12:08 PM

Archbishop says opportunities in our historic church buildings knock the challenges in maintaining them “for six” at anniversary service.

National Churches Trust: 60 Not Out!

The Archbishop of Canterbury preaches at the service in Westminster Abbey.

The 60th anniversary of the National Churches Trust saw a capacity 2,180 congregation give thanks for its work at a service in Westminster Abbey. The service was attended by the Bishop of Salisbury, the Right Revd Nicholas Holtam, who is a Trustee of the National Churches Trust and Chair of its Grants Committee.

The service was also attended by many Friends of the Trust, religious and political leaders, volunteers who care for and support church buildings, as well as representatives of many of the places of worship supported by the Trust since its formation in 1953.

Over the last sixty years, the National Churches Trust, originally founded as the Historic Churches Preservation Trust, has allocated grants and loans worth over £85 million at current prices to help repair and modernise Christian places of worship throughout the UK. In addition to supporting urgent repairs, the Trust has also funded modern facilities, including kitchens, heating and toilets to ensure places of worship serve the needs of local communities.

The Trust also works closely with county Historic Churches Trusts, including those covering Dorset and Wiltshire, to administer some grants and promote the annual Ride+Stride event, which raises money to repair and improve historic churches of all denominations.

HM The Queen sent a message of congratulations to the charity, which was included in the Order of Service. In her message she said, “Since the foundation of the Historic Churches Preservation Trust in 1953, I have seen the excellent work you have undertaken to support historic church buildings in this country.  As you celebrate your Diamond Jubilee this year, I hope you will build on the Trust’s success and continue your important work which has such a positive impact on people’s lives and our communities.”

The Address was given the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby.

In his Address, the Archbishop said, “Buildings are being refurbished, reopened as places which call again with living hope to their communities more than at any time in the last 100 years. Cathedrals are commissioning more art than in living memory

“These are all signs of the spirit of God at work, for where He is at work His creativity overflows into our buildings, our lives our people, our communities.” 

“Our buildings are opportunities and challenge, but handled well the opportunity knocks the challenge for six. This Trust has served them well, long may it continue to do so.”

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