Who are we?

A stained glass window at All Saints Church, DriffieldEY Churches is the short-hand name for the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, which is a company incorporated from the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Group with the same aims. The Group was set up in 2004 to encourage a greater appreciation, understanding and enjoyment of the churches in the area. Churches are a valuable part of the diverse cultural, historical, architectural and environmental heritage of East Yorkshire. The Trust was incorporated on 16th November 2005. The Trust hopes to encourage visits to churches in the area, and to develop a sense of community ownership of and responsibility for those churches, as well as community involvement. We also hope to develop local tourism and rural regeneration by encouraging those visits.

What do we do?

Emily Keane, outside All Saints Church, Driffield The Trust runs and supports workshops, events, training programmes and open days. Topics include how to welcome visitors into your church, how to keep your church open while providing adequate security, how to interpret your church and make it accessible to visitors of all ages, and how to interest and involve the community in your church and your cultural heritage. The Trust also provides guidance and information on how to apply for grants.

The Trust is developing trails around churches with a common theme, such as those churches built or restored by Sir Tatton Sykes I and Sir Tatton Sykes II during the period 1863-1913, churches in and around Burton Agnes, churches in Holderness including those associated with Guy Fawkes, stained glass in churches, and churches acting as beacons for ships along the coastline of Holderness.

The Trust has published leaflets on the Sykes Churches: Southern Trail, and will publish others on similar themes which will be distributed through tourist outlets to encourage visitors. The Trust hasl also compiled trails and publish leaflets on the basis of geographical areas, such as Holderness and the Wolds. The leaflets identify the interesting features of those churches as well as providing information on how to find the churches, when they are open and what facilities are available at the churches or nearby. The Trust hopes to continue such publications, which have proved immensely popular.

The Trust has already compiled a database of most churches in the East Riding and is building a database of those who register as members of the scheme, which identifies the most interesting features of those churches, how to find the churches, when they are open and what facilities are available at the churches or nearby, as well as much other useful information, and a photograph of the churches in question. This information has been put on to a website for visitors which already covers churches and other attractions in North Yorkshire, thereby encouraging visits to East Yorkshire.

The Trust runs this website, which is for members of the scheme and those interested in becoming members. This website provides news and information about events, and answers frequently asked questions.

Who makes up the Trust?

Whilst the Trust previously employed a member of staff as Church Heritage Officer, it is now exclusively made up of volunteers in the area.

You can contact the Trust’s secretary, Sue Dale on 01377 288233 or by email on the following address:

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Her postal address is: Wold House Farm, Huggate, York, United Kingdom YO42 1YP

How is the Trust funded?

The Trust is exclusively funded through the donations it receives from members of the public.

Previously the Trust operated as the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Group. The £100,000 project was a successful partnership between the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, CRC, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, the Diocese of York and a network of local volunteers from churches across the area. The project successfully gained grant funding support for 2 years from LEADER+, a European Union and UK Government funded initiative, and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Who are the volunteer participants?

The Trust (all of whose members are unpaid) includes Dr David and Dr Susan Neave (historians who are expert on the East Riding; and who wrote the last East Riding Pevsner, the VCH volume on Kirby Grindalythe, Sledmere and Weaverthorpe (published last year) and many other books on the area; are presently writing the VCH volume on Driffield; and have been stalwart defenders of our churches); the Archdeacon; a local clergyman with a special interest in rural affairs, Canon Stephen Cope; the organist at Patrington church (5*s in Simon Jenkins’ 1,000 finest churches); Andrew Anderson, a distinguished architect with a special interest in churches; popular local historian, Geoff Bell; Emily Keane, who formerly worked for us as Church Heritage Officer; Jim Keane an IT specialist for Hull University; the Trust’s secretary, Sue Dale; (the Chairman) Catharine Otton-Goulder QC, a barrister in London, part-time judge in East Yorkshire and a Reader in the Church of England, and other local people.