WINCHESTER Cathedral made an ideal setting for the final event to be staged as part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations of an organisation dedicated to preserving historic churches in Hampshire.

The Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust marked the end of a year of events with a special service carried out by the Dean of the Cathedral, the Very Reverend James Atwell. Former Dean, the Very Reverend Trevor Beeson gave the sermon.

Since its foundation, the trust has raised over £450,000 to give out as grants to historic churches.

And at the Annual General Meeting staged after the service, trust chairman Lady Joan Appleyard revealed that for the first time in its history, the organisation had raised over £60,000 in a single year.

“We have had a marvellous year. Our thanks to the Dean who asks us to consider the Cathedral as our AGM home. It is a marvellous venue,” Lady Appleyard told members and guests, including Hampshire County Council Councillor Roy Perry.

Lady Appleyard said the trust had raised a total of £64,871 in the last year. She also announced a £50,000 grant from Hampshire County Council would be allocated over the next two years by the trust to churches in need of repair.

The trust’s main fundraising event is an annual Stride and Ride where participants travel between churches in the region by any means to raise sponsorship. This year’s event will take place on September 13.

The trust’s summer outing this year will be to churches in East Hampshire. There will also be a champagne reception staged at Beaulieu Palace House on Saturday, June 14, which is open to non-members with tickets at £40. Contact Mrs Meryl Balchin on 01794 368427 for details or email

For more information on the trust or to become a member visit