- Tributes to mark Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee carry on into 2023 in Suffolk, with the news that the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT) has awarded £152,000 to 51 churches.
- A record annual amount is given to support church buildings in time for the 50th anniversary of the Trust.
- Figure announced for the money raised by Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride and Pedal & Drive Day.
Last year the Trustees of the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust decided to allocate £70,000 to a Jubilee Fund for projects the Trust saw as a fitting tribute to the Queen’s remarkable 70 year reign.
They deliberately ruled out applications relating to structural work which is the bread & butter of their normal grant-giving and instead to ask for works they would not normally fund like the restoration of clocks, monuments, paintings, textiles, books, organs, stained glass and churchyard works. To spread the money grant would only be awarded to projects that would not exceed £5,000 ,with the requested grant expected to cover the bulk if not the entire costs of the project.
In the event, the Trust received 55 applications adding up to over £180,000. Owing to the enormous generosity of two supporters of the Trust who had recently left very substantial legacies to the SHCT, the Trustees felt able to bridge most, if not all, of the gap and to award £152,000 to 51 churches right across Suffolk.
Chairman of the SHCT Geoffrey Probert commented ‘Our Charity is here to help in the upkeep of our glorious inheritance of Suffolk churches and chapels, so it gives us huge pleasure that so many churches came forward with imaginative ways to mark the Jubilee. Her Late Majesty was Patron of the National Churches Trust and I’m sure she would have been thrilled to see so many projects being realised in her name in Suffolk’.
The successful projects ranged from a Jubilee Garden at St Mary Martlesham to installing a Royal Coat of Arms at St Mary’s, Raydon, and the skyline of Suffolk will be enhanced by a new weathervane at St Mary Magdalene, Debenham. The restoration of St Mary Withersfield tower clock and the repainting of the sundial at Bradfield St George also feature. All manner of improved community facilities have been funded, such as a wheelchair ramp at St Andrew Brockley, new notice boards at St Peter’s, Thurston and St Mary’s, Mendlesham, and a commemoration bench at St John Elmswell, (see full list below).
The Trustees of SHCT continue to award grants towards church, chapel and meeting house building projects, four times a year, so these grants are in addition to the £60,000 awarded to ten churches at the January grants meeting.
“January has proved to be an exhilarating month for the Grants Committee which has been able to award a total of £212,00 this time,” said a delighted SHCT Grants Chairman, John Devaux, “as we have increased our maximum grant to £20,000, we have been able to award £15,000 to St Margaret’s at Thrandesdon and £10,000 to St Peter’s, Stutton for essential work on their roofs. This means that the total awarded in the year 2022-23 amounted to an amazing £317,700.”
Churches awarded Grants for building and improvement projects:
Brantham, Stutton, Thrandeston, Stradbroke, Ringsfield, Shelley, Beccles, Boyton, Fornham All Saints and Hintlesham.
The money came from legacies to the Trust, and also money raised by the annual Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride and Pedal & Drive events held in September.
“We are delighted to announce that in one day our cyclists, walkers, drivers and volunteers raised almost £180,000,” added Geoffrey. “A quarter of those taking part were families but also included many over 70 year olds! We would like to thank everyone who got involved, including all the sponsors.”
Next year’s Suffolk Churches Ride and Stride and Pedal & Drive is on Saturday 9th September and will be part of a Suffolk Churches Fortnight as the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust celebrate their 50th anniversary with a service at St Edmundsbury Cathedral, and other events.
Churches awarded Jubilee Grants:
St Mary Magdalene, Debenham – weather vane
St Mary’s, Kersey- 3 new windows, clear with a red, white and blue highlight in the centre
St Andrews Brockely – wheelchair ramp
St Michaels Beccles – lectern
St Marys Kentford – handrail
St Peter and St Paul, Fressingfield – door curtain and altar cloth
St Peter’s Acton – refurbish organ
All Saints, Hitcham – bench end panels
St Mary’s Raydon – Royal Coat of Arms
St Johns Denham – porch commemorative window
All Saints, Hollesley – catering unit
St John, Elmswell – a churchyard bench
St Mary’s Withersfield – clock restoration
St Edmund, Assington – mobile servery unit
St Nicholas, Thelnetham – 25 kneeler kits
St Peters Thurston – notice boards
All Saints, Sproughton – organ modification
St Mary’s Hinderclay – sound system
St Marys Mendelsham- noticeboard by the gate
Bradfield St George – restore sundial
St Marys Pakenham – tea urn
St Andrew Cotton – replace QEll Coronation Light
St Peter Hepworth – automatic clock winder
St Andrew, GT Finborogh – glazed porch doors
Holy Trinity, Long Melford – eight flower stands
St Marys Nettlestead – churchyard bench
St Bartholomew’s, Ingham – churchyard wall
St Peter, Spexhall – restore creed boards
St Mary’s Walsham le Willows – replace flags and curtain
St Marys Dennington – churchyard gates
St Gregory’s Barnham – conservation of hatchment
All Saints, Gt Ashfield – Clergy chairs
St Mary at the Elms Ipswich – remote bell chimer
All Saints, Worlington – churchyard gates
All Saints, Chelsworth – restore the font
St Mary’s, Martlesham – Jubilee garden
All Saints, Stanton -altar
All Saints, Stuston – bird doors in porch
St Mary’s, Worlingworth – organ bellows
SS Mary’s and Botolph, Whitton– window roundel
St Mary’s, Clopton- altar repositioning
St Mary’s, Bures – live stream videoing
St Nicholas, Hintlesham – restore two hatchments
All saints, Hartest – display boards
Our Lady and St Edmunds, Withermarsh Green – restore tabernacle and gradine
St Andrew, Tostock- cupboards to match kitchen
St Margaret’s, Stradishall – new altar
St Peter’s, Monks Eleigh – memorial bench
St Andrew’s, Layham – replace flagpole
St Mary’s, Glemsford – frontals chest
All Saints, Sudbury – sound system