Over 50 friends of the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust (YHCT) gathered at Bishopthorpe Palace with the Archbishop of York yesterday to celebrate its 30th anniversary.
The Trust was established in 1988, to provide grants - which can range from £250 to more than £10,000 - to help preserve, repair and maintain Yorkshire churches.
Thanks to the generosity of friends and donors, each year the Trust awards around £100,000 to churches across the county. A total of £3 million to over 800 churches has been awarded over the last 30 years.
Maintaining a church is an expensive, never ending business and with over 3000 places of worship in Yorkshire, more than any other county in England, the role the YHCT plays is a vital one.
It is thanks to the generosity of friends and donors that the vital funding is available to churches and the event was a perfect opportunity to say thank you to all those who support the Trust.
Welcomed by Dr John Sentamu, Archbishop of York and President of the Trust, guests enjoyed refreshments, a tour of the palace and a short service of celebration.
Speaking on the day, Dr Sentamu said: “I am delighted to welcome friends and donors of the YHCT to Bishopthorpe Palace to celebrate the 30th anniversary of this special charity. Supporters of the Trust are helping to safeguard some of Yorkshire’s finest buildings, enabling them to provide a safe and welcoming place to worship and playing a vital role within local communities.”
Tom Ramsden, YHCT Chairman said: “With leaking roofs, rotting timbers and crumbling stonework, many of Yorkshire’s historic churches are battling to survive. But thanks to the generosity of our friends and donors, we are able play our parts in helping ensure these buildings remain standing for many years to come.
He continued: “Not only do churches define our landscape, they bring communities together. As we celebrate our 30th anniversary, we look forward to growing the support for the Trust and helping keep churches alive for future generations”.
Both the Archbishop and the Chairman encourage anyone keen on Yorkshire’s heritage to become a Friend of the YHCT for just £35 a year. Details can be found at www.yhct.org.uk
Notes to editors:
The Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust provides funds for churches, chapels and meeting houses of all Christian denominations within the county of Yorkshire. Funding ranges from £250 to over £10,000 for a wide range of repairs, conservation and maintenance work.
The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, is President of the Trust.
For more information contact Vanessa White, Tel: 07786 656883, email: [email protected] or visit: www.yhct.org.uk