Welcome to the The Cornwall Historic Churches Trust
The Cornwall Historic Churches Trust (CHCT) was formed in 1955 to assist in the restoration and repair of Cornish churches which have architectural or historic merit. Our patron is HRH the Duke of Cornwall.
The Trust has limited capital and resources and its work can only continue and be effective through the generosity and support of our Friends in Cornwall and beyond. The Trust is a registered charity and churches and chapels of all denominations are eligible to apply for assistance. For more information about the Trust, go to About Us.
Church maintenance helps avoid church restoration. Modest amounts invested in maintenance now will lead to savings later. The CHCT, with help from the Tanner Trust, has introduced a scheme that allows churches to apply for funding for regular maintenance projects and emergency repairs using a simplified and speedier application process.
Stonemason Alex Woodcock has been kind enough to provide entertaining a fascinating lectures for us on the historic stonecarvings in our churches. His latest book King of Dust is a craftsman’s journey through the landscapes and ancient sculpture that inspired him to pick up tools. Weaving the author’s own history with the potency of the stonecarvings and stories of their medieval carvers, the book is a meditation on craft, the importance of the handmade, and the transformative power of art in our lives. It explores how stone connects us with others through time and can help us find our place in the world.
You can purchase copies online at Little Toller Books or order into your favourite bookshop
CHCT was delighted to hear from Mary Wooding (former church warden and key player in the project) that the restoration of the beautiful Arts and Crafts WW1 Memorial East window at St Pol de Leon church in West Cornwall was completed in time for a re-dedication ceremony in May 2018. Originally commissioned by the Bolitho family in memory of their only surviving son who had been killed at Ypres in May 1915, it was the creation of prominent Arts and Crafts designer Robert Anning Bell. Today it is highly regarded as a unique window of the highest artistic and historic significance, ranking as one of the most important stained glass windows in Cornwall of any age. A team of craftsmen from Humphries Glass of Wells worked closely with Cornwall-based stone carver and sculptor Reuben Marsh. Reuben was shortlisted for a prestigious Angel Award (co-funded by Historic England and the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation) in the category which recognizes ‘a craftsperson who has demonstrated skills which have been key in repairing or rescuing a historic site’. CHCT allocated the project a grant in 2014.
Next CHCT Event
Cornwall Churches Day
Saturday 14th September
Our annual major fundraising event, Cornwall Churches Day, is a celebration of churches and chapels across the county. We are keen for as many parishes as possible to get involved by holding a celebration event which encourages people to visit your church (and surrounding churches in the area!). Sometimes it is just not practical to hold an event on this date, in which case we would still love you to get involved on any other date of the year.
Communities Preserving Churches
We are passionate about helping communities to preserve their churches and chapels for future generations; providing advice, support and grants to help them. But to enable us to do this we need the support of our Cornish churches communities.
In 2018 we awarded more than £80,000 in grants to churches and chapels in need and helped them raise additional funds from other sources. However it is sobering to note that the total project costs for these churches was just shy of £2,000,000.
To support more projects we need more funds and your community can help. If each of our 250 parishes could fund raise just £100 a year for CHCT we would have an additional £25,000 to offer in support. Now imagine if each parish could raise £200 or even £400. We could double the amount of support we could offer!
So we are asking if alongside your usual fundraising events could you put on one event each year where you donate 50% of the funds you raise at that event to CHCT. Think of it like an insurance policy, helping us to continue support communities in preserving their churches and chapels and keeping us there for when you need that support.
Find out more on our Fundraising Page.
2019 - Fundraising Events
Sunday 8th September, 3pm
A talk in Ladock Church by Michael Swift on all our stained glass windows, the proceeds to be split between PCC and CHCT.
price £5.00 to include tea afterwards.
Saturday 21st September
POWDER, Grampound with Creed – Beating the bounds – more details to follow
Our first donations are coming in for this year! Thank you.
£60 so far from the Carole Vivian Driveabout
Liskeard Church held a walk about and raised £165.00
Egloskery with Tresmere had a coffee morning which raised £200
South Petherwin hosted a talk by Jo Mattingly raising £100
Werrington the summer walk around the park and cream tea raised £260
Roseland Festival Committee hosted a talk by Christine Edwards and Joanna Mattingly, raising £100
A huge thank you to all the communities who have raised funds for us so far this year. Your support really does make a difference and together we can help to keep Cornish churches & chapels open for future generations.
Withiel raised £400 from their flower festival.
Maker with Rame are holding a sponsored cycle ride round the churches of the Rame Peninsula we look forward to hearing how it went.
Warleggan raised £100
Grampound with Creed raised £205 from Beating the Bounds
Ladock raised £100 from Beating the Bounds
Ruan Lanihorne raised £115
Veryan a coffee morning was hosted by Mr and Mrs Blair Jobson £200
Mouth Hawke with Mithian held a coffee morning raising £60
Trigg Minor & Bodmin
Tregadillett Methodist Chapel from a coffee morning - £130
Braddoc A walk between Bradock and St Winnow via Boconnoc and St Nectans chapel raised £110
We were very grateful to receive a private donation of £2,000
St Tudy held a coffee morning and new incumbents cycle ride to visit his neighbouring parishes raised £297.50
Egloskerry with Tresmere held a mouse festival and raised £100.00
Pelynt raised £507.50 from the Carole Vivian Driveabout 2018 which explored Churches to the West of Newquay. One lady participant was celebrating her 95 birthday the following week and even managed to make it to church on Sunday morning after!! The following churches were part of the expedition and raised the following themselves;
Penrose Chapel Committee (St Eval) £50
Paul Church, St Pol-de-Leon, raised £125
Balwest Methodist Chapel took part in the annual Rise & Stride and raised £150.00
St Sampson Gollant hosted a talk given by Dr Joanna Mattingly, ‘Reading the church’, and raised £90
St Fimbarrus Fowey raised £500 from Fowey Festival of Arts & Literature
Par raised £300
Mawgan-in-Meneage raised £37
Area 1 - Penwith - Mrs Alexandra Bolitho
Area 2 - Kerrier - The Hon. Christopher Harvey Clark & Cecilia Bisson
Area 3 - Carnmarth North - Mrs Caroline Tetley (Temporary)
Area 4 - Carnmarth South - Mrs Libby Reed
Area 5 - Powder - Mrs Caroline Tetley
Area 6 - Pydar - Mr Simon Coy
Area 7 - St Austell - Mr Murray Gowan
Area 8 - Trigg Minor & Bodmin - Mr Andrew Langdon
Area 9 - West Wivelshire - Mrs Jill Jobson
Area 10 - East Wivelshire - Mr Philip Willoughby
Area 11 - Trigg Major - Mrs Willa Bailey
Area 12 - Stratton - Mrs Jenny Smith
If you would like more information on how you can support CHCT please contact your area representative using the form below.
Church Histories Project
Look at the Church Histories section and explore the map showing those churches and chapels which have contributed to this project so far. You'll find details of who to get in touch with.
We can put you in touch with our historian and archivist if you need help with writing your history, and we can provide photographs if necessary.
Donations and Bequests
We are always grateful when people choose to support the trust by donation or leaving a bequest in their will.
If you would like to make a donation to the trust you can do so online via give.net/chct