Chairman’s Report 2007

It was always going to be difficult to follow the incumbency of Mrs Jenny Mellors who has ably guided the Trust through changing times, when the available funds were greatly increased by the Waste Recycling Environmental allocation and grants from the Jessie Spencer Trust and other donors were increased, mostly due to her courteous but persistent pressure.

I am very grateful that her qualities are retained by the Trust as she agreed to accept the offer of President when Mr Richard Craven-Smith-Milnes took his seat amongst the Trustees.

WREN continue to support the Trust with an award of £83,244 for 2007 and the Jessie Spencer Trust has generously given an undertaking to provide a grant for the next three years. This will enable the Trust to support Nottinghamshire churches, of all denominations, in their efforts to keep their buildings in good repair.

The Trust also raises money and awareness by social activities and through the annual sponsored cycle ride to county churches as part of the National ‘Ride and Stride’ event on the second Saturday in September each year. Reports on these activities can be found elsewhere in the folder.

It also promotes a bi-annual fundraising event which took the form of a 20th Anniversary Concert in Southwell Minster on 30 September 2006, given by Jane Watts, Organ, and the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra, Conductor Derek Williams. The performance was sponsored by Newark Advertiser and well received by a full church, raising almost £2,000 for the Trust funds.

Plans are already well advanced for a concert by Cantamus Girls’ Choir in Southwell Minster on 27 June 2009.

The Friends of the Trust is a growing body which for a small membership fee receive news of the Trust activities and invitations to interesting visits to Nottinghamshire churches and chapels. In the past year they have visited St. Mary Magdalene, Attenborough, St. Mary and St. Martin, Blyth, St. James at Papplewick and St. Michael, Linby. All the churches were described by knowledgeable guides and visits were followed by delicious teas. More visits are proposed for the current year.

The annual Summer Party was held in 2007 at The Old Vicarage, Langford, by invitation of the owners, Jerry and Jilly Steele. The brilliant sunshine in a week of excessive rain made the garden gazebos decorative but unnecessary. The buffet provided by Jilly and helpers was delicious and Jerry’s choice of wine was impeccable. The illustrated talk by the Church Architect, Francis Shaw of Grand Designs’ fame, revealed much of the history of Langford’s buildings and commercial past.

The Trust’s social events are designed to keep members, friends and the general public focused on the needs of the county’s historic churches and chapels, and on the work of the Trust.

I hope that many more people will support our aims both financially and in other ways. If you would like to become a Friend or be included in our mailing list, please contact the Trust Secretary, via the Trust web site or telephone.

David Digby Atkins

NB. At the time of going to press I was informed that WREN has agreed to award the Trust a grant of £100,000 for 2008. The release of this money is subject to raising funding from third parties of 11% (£11,000 for 2008) in order that the grant from WREN can be released to the Trust. Therefore, for every £110 donated to the special account set up to receive the third party funding, the Nottinghamshire Churches Repair Holding Fund, WREN will release £1,000.

If you would like more information please contact the Treasurer.

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