Pandemic Years 2020-2021

This comes with greetings from the committee members of the Trust. Yes, we are still here and still awarding grants to help the churches of Staffordshire keep going in difficult times. There has been no AGM for a number of years; there was no legal requirement for this but until last year we sent out a yearly newsletter. This is this year's, somewhat low key but you can imagine that none of us have been out and about with our cameras!

Firstly, we would like to thank all of you who kept supporting us during the last years even when we had to cancel all our activities. We were in the process of setting up an evening ‘do’ when everything came to a halt. Roger Williams’ popular tours around church buildings also had to be cancelled and we are very grateful to those of you who allowed the money already paid to be kept.

PCCs and other leaders of our churches are going to find the pandemic has severely ‘hit’ them because of COVID so it is even more important that we are able, through your help, to be able to hand out grants. During the past two years we have supported a number of churches with grants totalling nearly £25,000 and have more offer of grants in hand.

But we are looking at the wider issue caused by the pandemic and so we are working to set up some sort of small grant system for small churches (congregationally small usually) who will find it hard to re-establish life after COVID. We are being helped in this by our new member of the committee, Fiona North. This will be a rolling programme and every help financially will be needed – so please keep supporting us and if you can, invite your friends to join in too.

Kristina Williamson and Imogen Campbell moved onto new jobs which meant they did not have the time to commit to continuing as committee members. We are, of course, grateful to Kristina and Imogen for their support during their involvement with the Trust.

On the bright side – Roger Williams is working on tours to be run this year. There will be three and the details are still be worked on but here are the dates. The cost is being held to the same £12.50 for this year. The contact for booking on these tours is:

Canon Roger Williams: 3 Curborough Road, Lichfield, WS13 7NG Tel: 01543 419339


Starting at 2.OOPM at ST MATTHEW'S PARISH CHURCH, then 3.00PM at ST MARY THE MOUNT and 4.00PM ST GABRIEL, FULBROOK followed by Afternoon Tea


Starting at 10.30AM at CHRIST CHURCH and then continuing to ST JOHN'S CHAPEL, and ST MARY'S (now the Library). Lunch break and then onto ST MICHAEL'S and ending up at ST CHAD.


Starting at Standon All Saints, continuing to Swynnerton – both RC and C of E and ending in Tittensor St Luke. (Hopefully with tea!)

Once you have booked (and we feel we need to limit the numbers to 25 per tour) we can send you the fuller details - post code etc. You will need a car!

Once again we are very thankful for all your help in supporting us and please keep up the good work!

This letter is sent out by Katie Brown on behalf of the SHCT Committee

Mrs K Brown

Admaston Farmhouse

School Lane



WS15 3NH

Ride and Stride 2020

Bill Basford (left) and Paul Birch (r) from Gnosall Methodist. Quote from Bill, ‘A good ride on a good day with good company for a good cause.’

44 miles and 18 churches.

Green 1928 Austin 7 - Sarah Elsome (Hamstall Ridware) and Migo Wood (Salt)

Red 1929 Austin 7 Lucy Leigh (Hamstall Ridware and Sunny Eades (Mavesyn Ridware)

24 churches visited!

Late news!

David Westwood of Rugeley St Augustine receiving his plate for visiting more churches than any other walker in 2019; the presentation was delayed because of problems producing the plate.

12 September 2020

Annual Ride and Stride

Ride and Stride day 2020 was not the event we’ve all got used to over the years with so many churches unable to open and receive visitors due to Covid-19 restrictions. But here are some pictures of three participants walking round the churches in Lichfield, and happily meeting up with some cyclists at St Michael’s.

If you have photos of the day we’d love to add them here – please send to jwallbridge@

4 March 2020

Annual Newsletter

(A pdf of this newsletter may be downloaded here)

We are grateful to all those who support our work; if you know someone who might like to support the SHCT,  please ask them to contact the membership secretary, Katie Brown via our contact page.

SHCT Grants 2019 - The Trust is very pleased to have offered grants to the following churches in 2019:




Wombourne Methodist


Shelton St Mark (Stoke)


Urgent repairs

Bilston St Leonard


Dry rot

Tatenhill St Michael


Roof repairs

Alrewas All Saints


Organ repairs (exceptional grant, organs not funded)

Blore Ray


Structural investigations

Bilston St Leonard

Tatenhill St Michael

Blore Ray St Bartholomew

Our grants are small but important; they allow recipient churches to demonstrate to other, potential funders that they have been able to raise some match funding. The more income we receive through membership and donations, the more grants we can make; we rely on your continued support.

Derbyshire High Peak & Staffordshire Moorlands

Historic Churchyards Grant Scheme Pilot.

In 2019 the Trust also provided £5,000 match funding for the repair of funerary monuments in the Staffordshire Moorlands District Council area. This funding enabled the authority to complete its pilot programme of repairs to churchyard monuments. The work carried out was urgently required to arrest any further deterioration or structural collapse of these historically fascinating but often neglected memorials. The Trust will evaluate the pilot over the summer of 2020 and if the work has been successful, it may support a future, similar project.

New SHCT Joint President – We are delighted to announce that, following the resignation last year of The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Shrewsbury & Talbot DL (one of our two, joint presidents), Mr John Giffard Esq, CBE QPM has graciously agreed to take on this role.   (Bishop Michael Ipgrave continues as joint president.) We express our grateful thanks to the Earl of Shrewsbury and welcome Mr Giffard.

SHCT Spring Social

Friday, May 15th 7.00pm – 9.00pm at Whitmore Hall, Newcastle under Lyme

By kind permission of Mrs. Cavanagh Mainwaring, an Evening at Whitmore Hall, an opportunity to appreciate this Grade 1 listed house (1676) and landscaped gardens. Tickets £25 to include buffet from Katie Brown via our contact page

SHCT Church Tours 2019

In 2019 tours included Wolverhampton featuring the beautiful Collegiate Church of S Peter, a visit to mid-staffs to see churches including the stunning Hoar Cross the Holy Angels and the last tour of the year, to north-staffs, included the medieval foundation at Maer S Peter. These were much enjoyed by all; they provided an opportunity for supporters to meet and explore Staffordshire’s churches but they also raised funds! Tours for 2020 will include the areas of Walsall, Lichfield and Swynnerton. Tours cost £12.50 per person and half day tours include tea. To book, complete and return the accompanying form.


Treasurer’s Report 2019

For a small trust our financial situation remains stable. A copy of our full annual accounts may obtained after April from the Treasurer, Katie Brown via our contact page.

Staffordshire Ride and Stride 2019

Ride and Stride is held nationwide every September. Participants are sponsored to visit churches by bicycle, on foot, by car or public transport; money raised goes to support the county historic churches trusts. In 2019 the Staffordshire R &S raised a total of £10,639.46.  We are very grateful to all those churches that took part.

New SHCT Website

In 2019 the Trust launched a new website; this has been a great success with an ever-increasing number of ‘hits’; see:

2nd October 2019

Joint President of SHCT Announced

The Staffordshire Historic Churches Trust is delighted to announce that Mr. John Giffard, C.B.E., Q.P.M., D.L.  has accepted an invitation to become Joint President of the Trust alongside the Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Rev’d Dr. Michael Ipgrave. Mr Giffard accepted the invitation following the resignation of The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Shrewsbury and Talbot DL. Mr. Giffard, was Chief Constable of the Staffordshire Police Force from 1996 to 2006. The Giffard family have held the Chillington Estate in South Staffordshire since the year 1178. John and Crescent Giffard are the 29th generation of Giffards to make the estate their home. 

The Staffordshire Historic Churches Trust award grants toward the preservation, repair, maintenance, improvement, upkeep or beautification of any Christian Church within the county of Stafford. The geographical county stretches from the picturesque Moorlands through the industrial ‘potteries’ in Stoke on Trent to the largely agricultural mid-Staffs and the south west of the County around Kinver and Wombourne. The churches in the County are as varied and picturesque as the landscapes. The work and cost of maintaining the array of historic and beautiful church buildings can be daunting as well time consuming. The Trust awards grants towards the large and small-scale restoration of historic churches of all periods including twentieth century, including roof and wall repairs, improvements to buildings as well as the conservation of ancient or more modern features including stained glass, wall paintings and monuments.

In accepting the invitation Mr. Giffard said “I was delighted to be asked to be joint president with Bishop Michael. I have a long standing interest in the heritage of Staffordshire and will do whatever I can to help the Trust in its work preserving an important part of the county’s history”.