Devon Historic Churches

Nov 2010 Minutes

Support Devon’s Heritage



Lady Anne Boles DL – Chairman
Mrs M Dudgeon
Mr C Hewetson
Mrs R Howell DL
Mrs J Kauntze JP – Devon Historic Churches Day County Organiser
Rev. Dr D J Keep
Mr John Malleson
Mr N Maxwell-Lawford OBE DL – Chairman of F&GP Committee
Lt. Col. J D Michie – Hon. Treasurer
Mr J Mills – Hon. Secretary
Col. C Rich
Mr P Tuckett DL
Lt Cdr B Tuke


Mrs Sue Mumford – Church Assessor
The Ven. John Rawlings – Archdeacon of Totnes
Mrs Jane Scriven – Diocesan Board of Finance

The meeting opened in prayer led by the Archdeacon.

Apologies for absence had been received from the Earl of Devon, Mrs Carol Plumstead and the Ven. David Gunn-Johnson.

The minutes of the meeting held on 26th July 2010 were signed as a correct record.

The Chairman advised that the Members Day outing to Dartmouth had been cancelled due to lack of support.

Minute 1301. Mr John Mills attended the National Churches Trust  Conference at Southwell Minster on 1th May 2010 when a representative from Dorset Historic Churches Trust expressed a wish to address this meeting. An invitation would be extended to attend a suitable meeting, but not to a Trustees meeting.

The Chairman referred to Susan Taverner’s 20 years service to the Trust and Mr Maxwell-Lawford presented her with a bouquet of flowers. Susan thanked the Chairman and Trustees.

The Chairman welcomed Mr John Mills undertaking his first solo meeting  as the Hon. Secretary and thanked Mr John Malleson for the work he had undertaken as Hon. Secretary. Mr Malleson thanked the Trustees for the lovely engraved tumblers he had been presented with at the recent Finance & General Purposes Committee.

The Chairman reported on the death of Malcolm Upham who was a church assessor and parish organiser for the Bike Ride. The Chairman has written to his wife Peggy and will attend his funeral on Thursday 11th November at the Catholic Church of St Mary and St George in Totnes at 10 a.m. Trustees were invited to attend.

The National Churches Trust/AA proposed to produce a countrywide guide to churches with County Trusts requested to give them details of 30 or more churches in their area. Trusts were given only a month to compile this information and the Chairman and Hon. Secretary felt they would not be able to do our churches credit in the time allowed. The NCT/AA were not prepared to postpone the publication. Rather than do a rushed and inaccurate job it was decided to decline their offer to be included. This is a pity but there are so many books about Devon churches from Pevsner to Simon Jenkins that tourists who are interested will be able to get the right information quite easily.  The Chairman will inform the National Churches Trust of our decision.

Mrs Kauntze advised that Cornwall Historic Churches Trust had contacted her. They were attempting to provide the information requested but had asked for more time.

Mrs Muff Dudgeon offered to put copy together if time allowed. The chairman said she would keep her informed.

Mr Mills gave details of the very tight timetable the Trust had been given and assumed this was because it was  intended to publish the book for Christmas 2011.

The Chairman referred to the debate being organised by the National Churches Trust on 24th November at Freemasons’ Hall, London to discuss “Church buildings are too expensive to maintain – they should be sold off”.  Tickets are still available.

The Chairman had attended a service at St George’s church, Tiverton to mark the completion of the restoration to the church.

The chairman mentioned the wonderful efforts of Mr Jim Pearcy of Escot who had visited 132 churches between 5 a.m. – 8 p.m. and raised £1250 for the Devon Historic Churches Day.

Mr Mills referred to proposals to abolish cheques from 2018. The Payments Council advise they will make a decision in 2016 on whether the charitable sector can cope without cheques. The Chairman said that withdrawal of cheques would be difficult for the Trust, and that we should keep pressing to ensure that cheques are not withdrawn. She would write to the Payments Council with the Trust’s views. She urged Trustees if they were involved with other charities to send in their views to the Payment Council.

Partnership Grant Scheme effective from 1.1.2011. The NCT is able to provide Trusts with £20,000 to give additional grants, subject to certain criteria being met.  Information is expected in December 2010 as to whether the Trust has been accepted into this programme.

A new fund, the Big Lottery Fund Reaching Communities Programme, has been set up by the Lottery Fund to help Community Groups with Capital Projects. Faith groups might meet the criteria.

The Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme is to continue after March 2011, albeit with professional fees;  organ repairs, bells and pews no longer being eligible .The Archdeacon said this is encouraging news. Mrs Scriven said there is a limit to the amount of money available, previously there was no limit.  Churches need to apply as soon as possible.

The Final Accounts and Annual Report for the year ended 31st March 2010 have been signed off by Mr N Maxwell-Lawford and Mr John Malleson.  Details will appear on the Charity Commission website before Christmas.

Mr Maxwell-Lawford reported that the value of our investments totals £1,023,451, an increase of £56,975 since our meeting in July this year.

Across various bank accounts we have credit balance of £86,733 but also undrawn grants of £35,100 leaving a net figure of £51,000 but not all the Ride & Stride money has been received.

So far this year we have agreed grants of £26,500.  Today I would not like to make grants exceeding £20,000.

The Accounts of the Trust to 31st March 2010 are available at the back of the hall.

Since our last meeting we have received small legacies totaling £1065.

Charles Stanley and its predecessors have been our brokers for many years and we shall review their role in due course.

Mr Maxwell-Lawford is in discussion with our Solicitors, Michelmore’s (Mr Shiva) about incorporating our Trust to relieve  Trustees of personal liability.  Mr Maxwell-Lawford confirmed that no agreement would be entered into with Michelmore’s until the matter had been discussed with Trustees.

Mrs Scriven referred to recent changes to charity law.

Dr Keep asked if the Trust’s official address – the P O Box number – could be redelivered and was advised that it could be.

Mrs Kauntze advised that the income is currently neck and neck with the amount raised at this time in 2009: £29,303.  Final figure is unknown. There was concern in the summer about a possible drop in income and the Bishop has been asked to include a suitable item in his pastoral letter. Archdeacons had also been supportive and helped to turn support for the event around.

Mrs Kauntze is working to improve the website and is in discussions with a number of website suppliers to raise the profile of the Trust – work in progress.

Mrs Kauntze stated that the protocol devised by the National Churches Trust, which oversees the Ride+Stride event, was for all Gift Aid to be retained by the County Trusts to help cover their expenses in promoting the event.  Similarly the amount returned to participating churches was 50% although one Trust returned 75%.

Since the July 2010 meeting the following donations have been received:
18 donations totalling £570 from PCCs
47 donations from private individuals totalling £4930, including a significant donation from a past Trustee.
Louise Crossman Architects 1 @ £25
Legacy from Mr D Woollcombe £400
Col. Cobb, funeral collection totalled £665.  Col. Cobb’s son requested money distributed between 2 churches in Honiton and Plymtree.
Dr Keep talks and funeral address £184

The PCC donations are of a similar quantity and amount to that advised at the November 2009 meeting.

There were an additional  7 private donations in the last quarter compared to the same period in 2009, and an increase of over £2500 in the amount donated.

1312. NCT/AA Guide to Churches
Already discussed under Chairman’s Remarks.

The following grants were approved by Trustees:

Abbots Bickington, St James – £2000
Abbotsham, St Helen – £1500
Berry, Pomeroy, St Mary – £3000
Brixton, St Mary – £2000
Chittlehamholt, St John the Baptist – £1000
Hennock, St Mary – £1000
Kingsteignton, St Michael – £3000*
Meeth, All Saints –  £2500
Sutcombe, St Andrew – £2000
Tavistock, Our Lady and St Mary Magdalene (RC) – £2000
TOTAL  – £20,000

*To be advised they should re-apply for a further grant in due course.

Dr Keep asked if Mr Michael Hoare was still involved with the National Churches Trust and was told he was. The Chairman referred to the National Churches Trust publication which had been sent to all Trustees free of charge.    For future copies Trustees would have to become a Friend and pay an annual charge.

Col. Michie attended a special service at Sutcombe church, which had received a grant of £4,000 from the Trust.  The vicar was fulsome in his praise for the Trust.

Mr Mills advised there would be a thanksgiving service at St Michael’s church, Blackawton on 21st November at 11 a.m following recent remedial work.   Mrs Sue Mumford offered to attend.

1315.  2011 MEETINGS

Tedburn St Mary    11 a.m.

Monday 24th January 2011
Monday 18th April 2011
Monday 18th July 2011
Monday 7th November 2011

NB   The meeting scheduled for 24th January has had to be re-arranged for Monday 31st January 2011, due to the Tedburn St Mary Village Hall not being available on the original date.