Over fifty friends of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) met at a Purbeck church to celebrate the charity’s successful work.

In partnership with the National Churches Trust, DHCT works to preserve Christian churches and chapels of all denominations throughout the county.

Dr Tim Connor started the meeting, held in St Mary’s Church, Swanage, by discussing the building’s history, its development over the centuries and its relationship with a changing seaside town.

Expert on Purbeck minerals Treleven Hayson followed with a presentation on the marbles and limestones which feature predominantly in the construction and decoration of Dorset’s churches.

Chairman of DHCT, Simon Pomeroy, said “The Dorset Historic Churches Trust would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended the afternoon and to the clergy and helpers at St Mary’s who received us so warmly with a delicious lunch and tea.

“The help of the Friends of the Trust is invaluable to the survival of our local churches and we hope to continue to collaborate closely with them on local projects.”

Musical interludes were provided by classical guitarist Christopher Daly, organist David Bruce-Payne and the Purbeck Village Quire, who performed traditional music in traditional costume.

DHCT encourage anyone interested in becoming a friend of the trusts to collect a leaflet from their local church or visit the website at www.dhct.org.uk