Why We Are Here

Background to the foundation of the Trust

A letter to The Times in 1981 signed by Lord Runcie, then Archbishop of Canterbury, Richard Ingrams and artist John Piper first drew national attention to the problem of maintaining the unique group of medieval churches on Romney Marsh. It prompted an immediate response and the Romney Marsh Historic Churches Trust was inaugurated at Leeds Castle on 15 May 1982.

The purpose of the Trust is the preservation and maintenance of the fabric and curtilage of fourteen medieval churches, with an additional interest expressed in the remains of four ruined churches. The churches all lie south and east of the Royal Military Canal, one being in Sussex (Chichester Diocese) the remainder in Kent (Canterbury Diocese).

We support the Parochial Church Councils in their task of maintaining their churches. This includes helping with major projects such as re-roofing, replacing/restoring windows and restoring tombs as well as necessary more routine repair and restoration to fabric items such as gutters, drains, masonry and painting.

Although our primary purpose is to help keep the buildings weathertight, the charitable objects of the Trust do allow the provision of grants for other purposes too. Since its foundation, the Trust has made grants of over £1,000,000 and we are entirely dependant on income from membership subscriptions, donations, legacies, church tours and sales of publications. Without the support of our members, donors and volunteers, the churches of the Romney Marsh would undoubtedly fall into disrepair.