Chairman’s Report, 2009
As I approach my final year as Chairman I am pleased to report proposed changes in the membership and funding provision for the Trust, which I hope will help us to maintain the level of financial assistance to the repair of Christian churches in the county.
A number of Charitable Trusts support our work and to these we are most grateful. Their money provides ‘third party funding’ which is necessary to allow Entrust giants to be made by the Trust from the funds which are allocated to it each year by Waste Reclamation Environmental (WREN). In 2008/9 this has allowed us to support 49 churches with assistance varying from £200 to £5,000, and the Trustees’ Special Award of £11,330 to St. Andrew’s Church, Langar.
The closing of landfill sites and the increased recycling programme has resulted in the reduction of the amount of grant money available to WREN to distribute nationally, and last year’s allocation to NCHT of £100,000 has had to be reduced to £60,000 for 2009. The Trust is very grateful for this sum but views the potential reductions of future years with some trepidation. Unless the amount or number of grants given by the Trust is to be reduced the shortfall will have to be met in other ways. The Trust must re-assess its position and the possible sources of additional income.
The Ride and Stride in September raises a substantial sum each year, and the Trust greatly appreciates all the enthusiastic work put in by Boby Stefanov and Mike Elliott to make it such a success. There is great scope for increasing the level of participation by church members and supporters, and making the most of a very enjoyable and successful way of raising funds. If each of the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist and United Reformed churches in the county could be encouraged to participate we should have more churches to visit and meet a wider variety of interesting people as we walk or cycle from one venue to another. Some other county church trusts seem able to raise twice the sum we do, and I urge eveiyone to make the most of this great opportunity.
The Trustees are seeking to expand the role of the ‘Friends’ and combining them with those people who are more loosely associated with Nottinghamshire Historic Churches, as well as all those who have an interest in the preservation of our chinch buildings. The re-formed group will enjoy visits to churches, informed and interesting talks, a Summer Party and concessions at our concerts or events, in exchange for a small annual subscription. I am looking for someone to take the honorary position of Membership Secretary who could co-ordinate suggestions for activities and organise visits. Please don’t hold back if you think you can help, either individually or on a job share basis.
The Summer Party at Clumber Park was well attended and enjoyed by all after the torrential rain storm at the start had passed over. This year the Summer Party will be combined with our bi-annual concert in Southwell Minster which will be given by Cantamus Girls Choir. I anticipate a sell-out, and further funds and general awareness of the Trust’s objectives and activities.
For the first time the Trust has produced its own Christmas cards to raise further funds and to extend our area of interest. The first year’s sales have almost covered the printing costs. The Trustees will be happy to receive any requests for packs of five A5 cards with envelopes at £2.50 each which will show us a small profit. We intend to add to this with another, smaller, card in the future.
This report seems to be a plea for cash and I don’t apologise, because we cannot fulfil our charitable status without adequate funds to assist those who look after the county’s many historic church buildings.
Finally I wish to thank all our Patrons, Trustees and officers for their continued support. Their names appear elsewhere in the annual report along with further, more detailed information on the year’s activity.
David Digby Atkins