A TRUST which helps to protect and maintain historic churches across the county is looking to recruit more volunteers, after celebrating its most successful year of fundraising.

For over 60 years Dorset Historic Churches Trust has been helping parishes across the county to maintain and develop the fabric of their cherished churches for future generations.

It has been a tough year for many charities, but DHCT ran its most successful Ride + Stride event ever last September.

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The event saw residents from over 170 churches across Dorset take part and raise funds by walking, cycling and horse riding. On a single day the trust was able to raise more than £112,500, a "record amount", which could be used alongside grants to repair leaking roofs, prop up sagging walls and install better community facilities in historic churches.

An example of DHCT’s of how the money raised was used is the grant awarded to the church at Enmore Green, near Shaftesbury. The trust was able to give £3,500 towards their £7,000 project to re-roof the tower and keep rain out of the beautiful little church for another hundred years.

In the past five years the trust has awarded grants totalling £615,000 to 101 churches and hopes to build upon this achievement by strengthening its network of local volunteers during 2021.

The growing conservation charity is now calling on anyone who has an interest Dorset’s stock of ancient and beautiful churches, which are often listed as of historical and architectural importance, to volunteer with them.

The trust aims to extend its team of Parish Organisers to have one in every village or community where there is an active Christian church of any denomination.

It also wants to build up its team of Area Representatives, whose main work is to organise the annual sponsored event, Ride + Stride each September and to help churches apply for grants for repair and restoration schemes.

To find out more about the work the trust does and how to volunteer with the DHCT, visit www.dhct.org.uk.


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