Suffolk Historic Churches TrustPosted: 2010-04-26
I have been visiting Suffolk over the past two weeks - and thoroughly enjoying myself. One of the highlights for me is getting a chance to visit some of the historic churches in the county. Suffolk is famous for its large number of fantastic medieval churches, many built during the late medieval period, when Suffolk was one of the wealthiest areas of the country due to the succes of its wool trade.
Whilst visiting a historic gem of a church I picked up a little leaflet that caught my eye. The headline read 'Historic Irreplaceable Churches'. This was my first introduction to the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, an organization dedicated to making sure that the wonderful historic churches of Suffolk are around for future generations to enjoy.
The Trust was established in 1974 to help preserve and maintain historic places of worship, a task it fulfills through education, grants, and advice to local groups. Over the years since it was founded the Trust has given out over £3,000,000 in grants for repair and restoration of historic churches and chapels. As it is a charity, the Trust relies on gifts, or even bequests from donors in the form of money or property.
The SHCT also maintains an extremely useful resource for people interested in visiting churches in Suffolk. On their website (see below) you can download a list of which churches are open, which are usually locked and which have a keyholder nearby. I found this list absolutely invaluable in planning my visits to churches on my trip. The Trust also has regular events and field trips throughout the year.
The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust can be reached online at www.shct.org.uk or by post by writing to: The Administrator, SHCT, Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9JR. Its somehow fitting that the Trust is located in Long Melford, home to arguably the finest wool church in the entire county of Suffolk.
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