Chairman’s report for 2010/11
In November 2009 WREN warned that it could no longer give block grants to the County Churches Trusts and were looking at a more responsible way of supporting church repair work. After much lobbying, by our own letters and through the National Churches Trust (NCT), we finally heard in June that this would not involve the expertise of the County Trusts and that the money would go directly to selected Grade I and 11* Listed churches on the advice of English Heritage and the NCT.
However in April 2010 the NCT launched a new Partnership Grants Programme allocating £20,000 to each County Trust enrolled in the scheme. The Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust applied for inclusion and has now heard that the application has been accepted and the money has been available from 1st January 2011. All church grant applications will be processed by us and submitted to the NCT for ratification and payment. None of the fund can be used to pay for administration, as was possible from the WREN grant, and therefore the need to raise Trust funds is now greater than ever. The basis for approved grant allocations made by NHCT at this time is 15% of estimated costs up to a maximum of £3,000. Total grants made to churches continue to be limited to £15,000 per quarter, with additions from our other funds.
Income to the Trust from other sources has remained steady over the years, and there is a need to increase this following the loss of the WREN grant. The Trustees were interested to learn of new ideas and higher returns achieved by other County Trusts when they attended the Annual County Churches Trust Conference at Southwell Minster in May 2010. I shall recommend the formation of a Fund Think Tank to select new sources of income for the Trust in addition to increasing the returns from existing ones. These consist of the income from the Ride and Stride which last September raised over £23,000 divided between churches and NHCT. Thanks are due for the work done by Boby Stefanov and Mike Elliott in promoting and administering this annual event. This is the second year that the NCT promotional website has been in operation and it will be interesting to learn how this has encouraged participation by non-church members.
The Summer Garden Party at Staunton Hall was well attended and made a small profit. I wish to record thanks to Edmund and Liz Staunton for the use of the Hall and grounds which made such a wonderful setting for the good food and the splendid organ recital by Paul Hale on the newly restored organ in the church. This was an opportunity to enrol new members into The Friends of Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust, who have a full and interesting programme of visits and talks each year, more details follow in the Friends’ report. We are still looking for a volunteer to provide leadership for The Friends to reduce the time spent by Anthea on organising visits. The Trust produced two new cards for Christmas 2010 for sale via the churches featured, the Trustees, and the Cards for Good Causes outlets in Nottingham and Newark. Our thanks are due to Chris Brooke and Graeme Renton for the photographs of Holme and Attenborough churches, and to Andrew Paris for his patience. The new format for the Annual Report has been well received and is cheaper and easier to distribute to sponsors and supporters. My thanks to Maureen Hallam for her persistence in obtaining sponsorships and her work on cards and leaflets.
Finally, my thanks to our founding President, Mr Richard Craven-Smith-Milnes and to Jane for their continuing support and hospitality in allowing us to hold our meetings at Winkburn Hall.
David Digby Atkins