Chairman’s Annual Report 2017

Feedback on the progress of the trust

At a time when many charities are struggling to raise funds and make ends meet, it is
gratifying to be able to report that your Trust’s finances are in good health. Income
remains steady, our stock market investments have risen and at around 1,100 our
membership is very constant.
In the early years of the Trust, much of our energy and resources were expended on
fighting the elements to keep the churches wind and waterproof. In many instances
these were relatively straightforward tasks; renewing guttering, unblocking
downpipes, replacing a few broken or damaged tiles. Whilst that work obviously
continues, much of what we fund today relates to larger scale restoration projects
which, in terms of cost, are equally large scale. These can often take many years –
from the planning and consent stages to implementation and completion – and as a
result, these projects can stay on our ‘books’ for a considerable period of time.
Members will have noticed that in recent years the level of creditors has stood at over
£100,000. These comprise grants awarded but yet to be paid out; two of the most
significant being the grants to St George’s, Ivychurch and All Saints, Lydd. I have
referred to the restoration of the west window at St George’s on numerous occasions
since the problems first materialised back in 2008 but I am delighted to be able to
report that the work has finally been completed. The restoration work at All Saint’s
Lydd is ongoing but the current phase – repairs and restoration of the south roof and
west window – is also finished. Following the completion of these two projects, the
level of creditors has been halved during the year and our thanks must go to our
Treasurer, Ian Meier for keeping a watchful eye on both our grants programme and
our finances in general.
Our most significant grant during 2017 was £25,000 towards the restoration of the
tombs at St Augustine, Brookland. Eight tombs dating from the mid-18th Century
have required extensive restoration and apart from a small contribution of £1,500
from Kent County Council, the entire cost of the project has been borne by the Trust.
We shall be holding our Annual General at Brookland this year and those of you
attending will have an opportunity to see the restored tombs for yourselves.
Total grants awarded last year amounted to just under £50,000, somewhat less than
our budgeted figure of £80,000. It was a relatively quiet year for us with only seven
out of the fourteen churches we support receiving a grant. However, we do not
operate a ‘use it or lose it’ policy and the unused element will be carried forward to
this year and if necessary future years.
Our Annual General Meeting – at St Augustine, Brookland – will be held on 26 May.
Graham Clarke, artist, illustrator, author and very much a ‘Man of Kent’ has kindly
agreed to be our guest speaker. Lunch will be held at Brookland Village Hall; details
are enclosed. Other dates for this year’s diary include our two Members Tours on 21
July and 1 September, both hosted as usual by Joan Campbell and Elizabeth Marshall.
We will visit Lydd in the morning and Fairfield and Ivychurch in the afternoon. The
annual service at St Augustine, Snave will be held on 9 September at 3pm. All
members and friends are most welcome.
Those of you who are more technically minded may have noticed that we have revamped
our website which I hope is now more informative and easier to navigate. My
thanks goes to Richard Andrews who originally developed the site and continues to
maintain it as well as our Council Members, Jo Thompson, Ian Meier, David Hanbury
and Nick Hudd whose contributions and input has been invaluable.
Last year we took the bold step of producing four Christmas Cards and in total we
sold just over 12,000, an excellent return at a time when card sales are, on the whole,
in decline. This year we will have three and I am most grateful to our regular
contributors, John Doyle, our President, Council Member John Hendy and also
David Campbell for providing the original material. Hopefully, these will all be
available and on sale at the AGM.
I have mentioned this before but it is worth repeating again. Everyone who helps this
Trust does so on a purely voluntary basis and without them, the Trust would simply
not be able to operate in its current form. Much of this work goes unseen. David
Hanbury as Membership Secretary, organising renewals and welcoming new
members, John Hendy’s work in arranging the very successful tours he runs,
Elizabeth Marshall, our secretary and Ian Meier, our Treasurer. All of these and
others give of their time freely and for no reward other than the satisfaction of
knowing that the churches we help to maintain are the ultimate beneficiaries. To them
and to all of you who support us financially, I give you my continuing thanks.
Peter Anwyl Harris
Chairman

Summarised Financial Statements 2017

You may view and print the Summarised Financial Statement