holy trinity goodramgate

Explaining the history to visitors

Historic churches – some of our most important heritage buildings – are being saved! Even those for which new uses have been discovered and those whose historical, architectural or cultural significance has ensured their preservation as ancient monuments, they remain at the heart of their communities and people love them.

People are becoming increasingly interested in the future of the nation’s historic churches. With a huge increase in visitor numbers, historic churches are also welcoming visitors from farther afield,  travelling many miles to explore the buildings and satisfy their fascination with history.

As a response The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), the national charity caring for historic churches no longer used for worship, has in the past year witnessed a 10% increase in the number of people willing to offer valuable time towards the care of its unique collection of churches. Numerous campaigns have attracted people from diverse backgrounds and with a vast range of skills, coming forward and helping to protect the buildings for future generations.

As the volunteer coordinator for Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland it is my job to encourage even more people to get involved at churches belonging to the CCT. The opportunities are both exciting and rewarding, ranging from churchyard-management tasks – helping to ensure they look tidy and litter-free – to visitor-welcome roles – explaining the fascinating history of a building which can stretch back over a thousand years! Make no mistake – it has its challenging moments! Lead-theft, awkward historical questions, leaking roofs, scaffolding and burglars have all been thrown at our teams over the years. But our volunteers seem indefatigable!

This is why, on the eve of International Volunteering Day (to be celebrated on Friday 5th December 2014), and because it will be impossible to pay a visit to each-and-every one of the volunteers in Yorkshire and the North East, on behalf of everyone at The Churches Conservation Trust I would like to take this opportunity to extend our warmest and most sincere gratitude to everyone who has helped keep these magnificent buildings alive. To those who open our churches daily to visitors, raise the essential money needed to ensure we can conserve the buildings, organise events, design our promotional literature and reach out to those who have so far not discovered the beauty and importance of our built heritage…….

…….Thank you!

If you would like to become a volunteer for The Churches Conservation Trust in Yorkshire, Tyne & Wear and Northumberland, please contact Graham White gwhite@thecct.org.uk or telephone 07867 974738.