Who We Are

Our Aim

Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust is a non-denominational charity whose objective is to help churches in Yorkshire through offering grants for repairs and maintenance.

Through fundraising, donations and membership, the trust distributes funding to churches and chapels from all Christian denominations and of any age who are in need of financial assistance to preserve and repair their church.

About the Trust

Founded in 1988, the Trust was established with the aim of helping the preservation, repair and maintenance of churches within the historic boundary of Yorkshire, their monuments and features. Since our inception in 1988, we have funded almost £3,000,000 worth of grants to more than 800 churches in need.

Through the generosity of donors, members and the general public, the Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust is able to give around £100,000 a year to churches in need of repair and preservation.

Anyone can support us by becoming a Friend, or join in with fundraising activities. The Trust’s major fund-raising activity is the ‘Ride +Stride’ sponsor day, held in September every year, where half the money raised is given back to the churches that joined in the activities.

Alongside the fundraising and production of newsletters to keep our supporters informed, we organise architectural tours and lectures to enhance and develop knowledge about Yorkshire’s churches.

Our People

President
The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

Patron
Dr Terry Bramall CBE

Our work can only be achieved and delivered with the support of the many people who contribute to the work of the YHCT.

A group of dedicated Trustees give up their time and share their knowledge and expertise to ensure the Trust is well managed and continues to support the need of the places of worship across Yorkshire.

Trustees meet four times a year, minutes of the meetings are available upon request.

Current Trustees:

Trustees are assisted and supported by professional architects and other conservation specialists to assess the individual needs of the churches. The panel includes:

Charles Anelay, Clyde Binfield, Andrew Boyce, Richard Carr- Archer, Richard Crooks, Malcolm Warburton.

Trustee Spotlight

In 2018, we were delighted to be joined by Sylvia Johnson , who tells us a bit about herself:

“I was invited to join the YHCT as a Trustee in January 2018. Prior to retirement in 2017 I was the Diocesan Advisory Committee Secretary in the Anglican Diocese of Bradford from 2006 to 2015 and then for the new Diocese of Leeds.

I am passionate about supporting parishes to maintain and enhance the church buildings for mission and for the whole community, taking into consideration the significance of the church, with due regard to their architecture, archaeology, art and history. 

I have been a member of the national Church Buildings Council from 2011 until to May 2021 and am Vice Chair of Sheffield DAC. My volunteering in retirement is doing all the things which I enjoyed when working, but for free! I also enjoy serving on the committee of the Huddersfield Civic Society, covering my local area.

I have recently become the Chair of the YHCT Grants Committee and am delighted to have this wonderful opportunity.  The Committee is a dedicated group of Trustees and other professionals such as architects and those with experience in church buildings. We meet twice a year to allocate grants to churches who have applied for support. We take this role very seriously and assess all applications, in conjunction with visiting the churches to discuss their projects in more detail. The final decisions are made by the full Board of Trustees.

It is vital that financial assistance is available to maintain these centres of communities for worship, for education, and for the wide variety of activities they offer.  This is becoming more important post Covid.

Quoting from the recently published report from the Centre for the Study of Christianity & Culture at the University of York:
“Despite the ongoing challenges, churches should be confident in what they have to offer in spiritual and practical care. They have very clear messages of hope, comfort, forgiveness, and new life to share with a weary, wounded, and insecure population.”  https://churchesandcovid.org/

Please consider becoming a Friend so that our work to offer grants can continue!”

Sylvia Johnson
Trustee

In 2018, we were also joined by Michael Wildblood , a retired architect.  After qualifying in 1971, he joined the firm of Sir Colin St John Wilson in London and worked in the team designing a new civic centre for Liverpool (project cancelled in 1973) and, for a short period, that for the National Library.In 1973 he returned from London to Yorkshire, setting up his own practice in 1976.  His work was varied, ranging from private houses to mixed use developments to the master-planning of the new settlement proposed for Flaxby, near Knaresborough.  His workload during forty years of active practice has included the design of a number of places of worship. He is most proud of his pioneering design work for children’s hospices in the 1980s and 1990s, including Martin House (Boston Spa), Naomi House (Winchester) and Claire House (Birkenhead), for which he was awarded the MBE in June 2000.

Retiring from his architectural practice in 2012, he joined the YHCT Grants Committee the following year and became a trustee in 2019.