"Alarms for Churches Appeal"

Seventy churches and chapels in Suffolk now have alarms fitted to their roofs. Two months after the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust launched the “Alarms for Churches Appeal”, it has helped double the number of Suffolk churches with approved alarms. The alarms mean that these churches and chapels are now properly insured if their lead roofs are targeted by thieves.

When the appeal was launched in September, thirty-five Suffolk churches had approved roof alarms and now, thanks to generous donations and grants, the SHCT has helped another thirty-five churches, and eight more alarm systems will be installed in the next couple of weeks.

“The Appeal has raised £150,000 with donations of all sizes from Suffolk people, and we are especially grateful for the large donations we have received from The Lord Belstead Charitable Trust and from The H B Allen Charitable Trust”, said Martin Favell, Chairman of SHCT, “and we would like to thank everyone who has helped so far. We have already awarded grants to churches totalling £75,000. However, there are still another eighty churches without alarms that we would also like to help, and with organised metal thieves still stripping roofs last weekend in Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire, there is no room for complacency.”

Some churches, who missed the initial launch, have not applied for a grant, thinking they were too late; however, Martin Favell is anxious that they do not miss out.

“We have enough money for another thirty-five grants that we can give immediately and if Suffolk people, who value the historic buildings that are part of their community, continue to support the appeal, we hope to be able to help all the churches and chapels who need it.”

SHCT is offering to cover half the cost of involved, up to a value of £2,500, for each of the next thirty-five churches to apply. This means vulnerable churches and chapels in Suffolk can continue to get the same financial support as those churches which have already been helped.

SHCT are asking churches who still need their help to contact them, and they are also asking the people of Suffolk to help with a donation, however small, either via JustGiving (www.justgiving.com/suffolkhct) or by sending a cheque, paid payable to SHCT, to The Secretary, Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9JR.





Welcome to Suffolk Historic Churches Trust








The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust (SHCT) was founded in 1973 as a result of the growing awareness of the threat to these ancient and historic buildings. A combination of rising repair costs, dwindling congregations and hopelessly inadequate parish or community resources meant that many of the churches were facing redundancy and closure. Since then the Trust has raised and distributed over £4 million to help with the repair and maintenance of these churches. The Trust is non-denominational and churches, chapels and meeting houses are eligible to apply for grants from the Trust.



Suffolk's Churches


The landscape of Suffolk would look very different without the 500 medieval churches the county can be so proud of. Then there is the role of non-conformist chapels and meeting houses in our history. Even non-worshipping members of communities appreciate that it is worth the time and money involved in preserving churches and chapels for future generations. (For more details of why Suffolk's religious buildings are important to the local economy, click here.)

Bedfield church undergoing repairs



Churches, chapels and meeting houses that are used as a public place of worship and are open to the public can apply to the SHCT for financial help for work to the fabric of the church. 


Donations and legacies help to further the work of the Trust and the Trustees are very grateful to anyone who is able to help in this way, or is willing to organise a fund-raising event. (Click here for more details.)




 The Annual Suffolk Historic Churches Sponsored Bike Ride

Our biggest fund-raiser started in Suffolk in 1982 but has now spread across the country (many counties now call it "Ride and Stride"). Riders (and walkers) register with the coordinator at their chosen church and the sponsor money they raise is shared equally between that church and the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. The ride is held on the second Saturday in September. (click here for more details).

2009 SHCT Friends Meeting



Friends of SHCT 

For a minimum donation of £15 (individual), £25 (joint or PCC) and £100 (corporate) you can become a Friend of the Trust, help to protect Suffolk's churches and chapels and be invited to attend special Friends events - such as the Annual Meeting and Supper photographed (right) in 2009. (Click HERE for more details)



For more details about the Suffolk Historic Churches Trust please contact our Assistant Secretary, Helen Read, on 01787 883884, by post to Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9RJ, or by sending us a message using our online form here.

To donate or raise money for Suffolk Historic Churches Trust, find us on JustGiving
Interior of St Francis church, Chantry, Ipswich
St Botolph, Iken taken by Simon Knott

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