AGM 10 July
We are grateful that our AGM was able to take place, face to face at St Mary's Church, Stotfold where we received a very warm welcome.
Chairman Malcolm Grant spoke about the work that Trustees have done in the past year approving grants, and outlined some of the challenges facing churches in the coming year. Despite the impact of Covid, the Trust's work continued and it has been a successful year.
Bike 'n Hike 2020 achieved record breaking fundraising of £112,000. Trustees awarded over £160,000 in grants to churches and chapels despite the impact of covid restrictions. The Endowment Campaign Board generated £11,300 from its summer auction.
Although events such as tours and talks have been put on hold, they are all planned and ready to go as soon as it is considered safe to do so. We can't wait, so look out for news.
We were very pleased to welcome the Bishop of Bedford who spoke about the key role that church buildings play in the life of their communities.
Although we were unable to have our usual refreshments, church tour and evensong, people were able to catch-up with others in a safe way in the churchyard and Theresa Britt gave an excellent verbal guide to the special historical features of St Mary's.
If you would like a copy of the Annual Report please email the secretary
Bike 'n Hike 2020 huge success
Our main annual fundraising event in September 2020 was a huge success, raising £112,800.
It's all thanks to the efforts of bikers, hikers, supporters and organisers and exceeds last year's magnificent sum.
All sponsor money is shared with half going to participants' local churches and the remainder to the Trust to give out in grants.
The Trust is seeking to appoint a Trustee who will serve as Honorary Treasurer to the Trust.
If you would be interested in this role, and have the appropriate financial experience, including preparation of accounts for audit, please contact the Secretary for more information:
See the latest Trust News
Trust News Spring 2021 is available on our news page.
Find out news about Bike 'n Hike, our Auction, Chairman's report, features on Trustees and more.
In memoriam: Brian Woodrow
It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of Brian Woodrow in July, who died peacefully surrounded by family.
Brian was remarkable, with an astonishing record of successful fund-raising for medical and other charities in Bedfordshire. The Trust’s Campaign Board was very pleased when he came aboard in 2018.
Already a busy man, he showed immense dedication and creativity and initiated our Auction of Goods and Promises. Brian was supremely talented in asking for - and getting - offers of Lots from his wide circle of friends and acquaintances. The Auction raised £11,300 for the Endowment campaign. This good result was known only shortly before Brian died, and must have pleased him.
Brian had been a Deputy Lieutenant for Bedfordshire, and was awarded the OBE. Brian was a very agreeable colleague on the Campaign Board, and it was a pleasure to work with him. As we express our condolences to Sally, his wife, we remember him fondly and with gratitude. His belief in working hard, and making personal sacrifices to improve the resources of charities serving the public good, is an inspiration to us all.
Richard Genochio, Trustee and Campaign Board Chair
Auction boost for Endowment Campaign
There were some fantastic items to bid for in our recent online auction which raised £11,300 for our Endowment Campaign.
We are most grateful to Sworders Auctioneers for hosting the auction from 25 June to 4 July all at no cost to the Trust. Sworders' generosity, as well as the hard work of the Campaign Board helped us to generate a very worthwhile sum.
So far, our Endowment Campaign has generated £1.8m towards our target of £3m. Some of that figure is promised as legacies.
The Endowment Campaign is crucial to continuing our future work of supporting the care and repair of historic churches for our local communities
The Trustees wish all our members and supporters good health in these difficult times,
and thank them for their continuing interest in and support for the work of the Trust.
There can be no doubt that maintaining a church or chapel can cost a lot of money and delaying a repair always means a bigger bill later.
Beds and Herts have a rich heritage of ancient buildings - and some impressive modern ones too - all of which need to be kept in good condition to allow them to function as places of worship and be an obvious Christian presence in our communities. A well maintained church makes a powerful statement to the world outside.
It is not always easy for church congregations to find the cash to deal with problems with their church building but it is essential they do - keeping the weather out for example has to be a number one priority. Repairs can be expensive, demanding a vast amount of energy to fund-raise for the balance.
If a church is having difficulty closing a funding gap to repair their church it might be worthwhile speaking to this Trust. A grant could make a real difference to local efforts to achieve what some might have thought at the outset, as the impossible.
The cash comes mainly from the annual sponsored Bike 'n Hike, held every year on the second Saturday in September. More details about this can be found here. The Trust is also working hard to establish an endowment fund so that it can go on helping churches, should income from the Bike ’n Hike be threatened.
To contact the Trust for more information about grants, e-mail: [email protected].