A Visit to Historic Lincoln
On Wednesday 14th June 2017, Friends and supporters of the National Churches Trust enjoyed a tour of Historic Lincoln. The day began with welcome refreshments in the Cloister Refectory and was followed by a guided tour of the remarkable Cathedral Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Lincoln.
After lunch guests took in the Battles & Dynasties exhibition at The Collection, an award winning archaeology museum, before finally heading down to St Swithin’s Church, one of our grantee churches who are about to embark on an ambitious reordering project.
‘Days Like These' An evening with Joanna Lumley
On Tuesday 1st December 2015 St Mary le Strand, the fine baroque church in the middle of the bustling Strand, played host to a very special evening kicking off the Christmas season in style.
Guests were delighted to an intriguing talk from the fantastically vibrant Joanna Lumley, discussing everything from her upbringing in India to the imminent Garden Bridge and plans for the North Bank surrounding the church.
This was followed by a beautiful seasonal programme of Piano music from Pavel Timofeyevsky including Tchaikovsky’s Seasons and Debussy’s L’Isle Joyeuse.
Father Philip Chester, Vicar of St Mary le Strand, introduced the evening and we were joined by Friends of the National Churches Trust and Joanna Lumley fans alike. Miss Lumley kindly joined us for a post-performance reception meeting lots of guests before departing for the Absolutely Fabulous film wrap party!
We also raised a fantastic £320.80 for the Save our Spires appeal in the retiring collection.
Tour of St Augustine's Church in Ramsgate
On Wednesday 2nd September 2015, we enjoyed a private tour of St Augustine’s Church in Ramsgate, which the Trust supported with a £40,000 Cornerstone Grant in 2012.
Grade I Listed, St Augustine’s Church is a Gothic Revival masterpiece, and of international importance in understanding the work and contribution of Augustus Welby Pugin, one of the greatest British architects of the 19th century. His personal creation and final resting place, Pugin described it as “my own child” and perfected there his “true principles of Christian architecture.”
Attendees enjoyed a morning talk with Centre Manager John Coverdale, during which they learnt more about Pugin and the architectural vision that he realized at St Augustine’s Church. They also heard from architect Paul Sharrick, who offered a fascinating insight into the building's eccentricities and recent programme of repairs.
In the afternoon, we enjoyed a buffet lunch and a stroll along the cliff tops, before enjoying a highly informative tour of the stunning St Augustine's Church, in the company of tour guide Veronica Platt and architect Paul Sharrock. We ended the day with a visit to The Grange, Pugin’s self-built family home. Now managed by The Landmark Trust and rarely open to the public, The Grange has been painstakingly returned to an appearance that Pugin would recognise, and offered us a unique opportunity to enter Pugin's colourful and idiosyncratic world. Led by specialist guides, we explored this astounding building, and also toured its beautiful gardens.
It was a very memorable day, and we look forward to announcing details of our next tour very soon.
An Evening at Westminster Abbey
On Tuesday 28th April 2015, we enjoyed evensong and a private guided tour of Westminster Abbey, followed by an exclusive reception in its historic Jerusalem Chamber.
The evening was hosted by the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, Dean of Westminster, and we were thrilled that our Vice Patron HRH The Duke of Gloucester KG GCVO joined us.
The special evening started at 5pm with a service of Choral Evensong. Guests enjoyed reserved seating in the Quire Stalls, the finest seats situated right in the heart of Westminster Abbey.
The Dean then led a private tour of the Abbey, revealing its fascinating history and some of the hidden wonders that are rarely accessible to the public.
The evening culminated in a private reception in the Jerusalem Chamber. Not normally open to the public, the Jerusalem Chamber was part of the medieval house of the Abbots of Westminster, known as Cheyneygates, and the place where King Henry IV died, as narrated by Shakespeare in Henry IV Part II.
You can view a selection of photos from the evening at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalchurchestrust/sets/72157653538185470.
An Evening with Michael Palin
On Thursday 26th March 2015, we had the delight of hosting An Evening with Michael Palin.
Held at the Trust’s offices in Westminster, guests enjoyed a wonderful talk from Michael about his favourite churches, which included St John's in Ranmoor, St Edmund's in Southwold, St Peter's in Wenhaston, St Margaret's in Abbotsley, and St Mary's in Linton, where his great-grandfather was incumbent.
After a Q&A session, guests enjoyed a glass of prosecco in Michael's company. You can view a selection of photos from the evening at https://www.flickr.com/photos/nationalchurchestrust/sets/