Chairman’s report for 2013/14
The year has been a relatively uneventful one for the Trust. The process of redesigning the logo has been completed and the consequent effect on the marketing literature used by the Trust is continuing to be implemented. The website has been redesigned and seems to have been well received, given that it is much clearer to access and to read than the old format. Andy Nicholson has been keeping it updated, including ‘Church of the Month’, and must be thanked for his work on the site.
The Trustees have been joined by Sir Edward Nall whose experience is proving a great benefit to the Trust already.
The 2014 Summer Party was held at Bishop’s Manor in Southwell, where some hundred of the Trust’s supporters were privileged to enjoy drinks and canapés and the freedom of the house and private garden, in the absence of a bishop in residence at the time. This was followed by a lecture in the Minster Quire by the architectural historian, archaeologist, and author, Professor David Stocker, on the theme of the pre-Norman ecclesiastical buildings in Southwell and elsewhere.
In July the 2014 Ride+Stride was again launched at Winkburn Hall, and although the initial organisation of the event did not go as smoothly as we hoped, I applaud Keith Goodman’s sterling efforts keeping it all on track, and updating the technology used in the running of this important event.
On a personal note, I attended a number of events on behalf of the Trust, as well as the Trustees’ meetings. I represented the Trust at Lincoln Cathedral for the East Midlands Heritage Forum in October. In December I spoke about the work of the Trust to the Wollaton Park Rotary Club, and again to church representatives at the “Faculty and Funding” event for churches of the Anglican Diocese, held at Jubilee House in Southwell. In June, I represented the Trust at a service to mark the completion of works, in part funded by the Trust, at St. Michael’s Church, Sutton Bonington. The experience clearly illustrated to me the problems faced by those involved with historic ecclesiastical buildings, there being so many of them and so few people to care for them or to make use of them effectively.
Last October I joined a large number of the Friends of the Trust visiting St. Mary & St. Martin’s church in Blyth where Dr. Jenny Alexander entertained us with a talk entitled “What the Normans Did for Us in Nottinghamshire”.
The Trust is nothing without its people. I was sad to see the retirement of Linda Francis who has given the Trustees unstinting and efficient service as Administrator to the Grants Committee for eleven years. She had given us several month’s notice, allowing us to appoint a most suitable replacement in Peta Keightley, who had been warmly welcomed and is now ably taking up the reins where Linda left off.
This is also the place to thank all who have helped the Trust in the past year, particularly for the sterling work carried out by Anthea Moat as Trust Secretary, and to Keith Goodman as Treasurer, and in practice the “anchor” of the Trust in so many ways. A significant part of the Trust’s income is gained from charitable trusts, and Maureen Hallam has continued to fill the role as Fundraiser superbly well, despite considerable personal difficulty. I would also like to thank Linda Francis, and now Peta Keightley, as well as Richard Craven-Smith-Milnes for his hospitality and encouragement.
The drafting of this report for the 2014 AGM has been an interesting exercise. The underlying need to improve the Trust’s base and to attract slightly younger people to become involved in the work remains as vital as ever. The last year has been reasonably successful and I hope that, with the support of the Trustees and of existing Friends and supporters, the Trust can continue to develop and improve its extremely important work.