Support the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust

by | 10 April 2022 | Community Focus, Heritage, Retford

Nottinghamshire’s historic churches bear witness to 1,000 years of Christian worship. They are local landmarks standing at the centre of our communities with their own rich history and character.

The parish church of East Retford (St Swithun’s), for instance, has been ‘through the wars.’ In 1528 a catastrophic fire destroyed much of the town and badly damaged the church. Records of the time report that all four chantry chapels in the church ‘are in decaye by reason they are consumed with fyer.’ Another disaster followed in October 1651 when ‘a great storm of wind’ demolished the central tower which fell on the east end of the building leaving the church ‘very ruinous and made a heap of stones’. A more recent calamity was averted when in 2007 and 2008 the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust gave an emergency grant to carry out repairs to the eight pinnacles on the tower. It was discovered that several of the pinnacles had twisted and were in danger of collapse. The grants allowed the church to repair the affected pinnacles rather than having them removed, preserving such a visually striking part of the town.

That is the importance of the work the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust does.

Across the county, these buildings are still feeling the tests of time. From damaged masonry to stolen lead, the list of issues facing our local churches can be overwhelming. Restoration costs only rise over time and sources for funding are under increasing pressure.

Since 1987, the NHCT has awarded grants to help conserve churches and chapels of outstanding merit and historic interest. Their grants go towards the repair and conservation of stonework, roofs, windows, timberwork, bells as well as precious artefacts and paintings. They also help replace old heating and electrical systems, ensuring that today’s congregations can visit and enjoy these historic spaces in comfort.

Their expert trustees, following careers as architects, historians and planners, know the county and its communities better than most. In the past two years, they have awarded over £70,000 to 38 churches across Nottinghamshire.

In 2022, the trust will be celebrating 35 years of awarding these church-saving grants.

You can help them to ensure this vital work continues

By becoming a Friend of the trust, you join a group of fellow-minded individuals, shared in their commitment to keep our county’s historic churches alive. From just £20.00 a year, Friends enjoy discounted access to the trust’s annual summer party, as well as their fascinating church tours and talks.

Get involved

To become a Friend or make a donation to help preserve these historic buildings, visit their website today at
You can also make a donation to their Just Giving page, or leave a legacy in your will.
Is your church in need of repair? Apply for a grant today or email their grant secretary at for more information.