The YHCT is essentially a grant-giving trust, unlike the East Yorkshire Historic Churches Trust, and the two trusts work closely together. Catharine Otton-Goulder is a trustee of both trusts and David Neave sits on the committee of the YHCT which gives grants to churches in the area. The present chairman is Richard Carr-Archer, a founder member, and a well-known architect whose firm, Ferrey and Mennim, looks after very many Yorkshire churches. He therefore has personal knowledge and understanding of the state of the fabric of many and of the problems facing parishes in caring for our church heritage.
The YHCT is probably best known locally for the annual ride on in September (the 2008 ride will take place on Saturday 13th September). This is run locally by William Legard, of Lowthorpe, and participation is huge fun as well as being beneficial. The rides may be undertaken in any way - some have travelled by horse-back! - and it is often possible to visit churches which are not usually open. We warmly encourage you all to start planning for the ride this year. Half the proceeds of each ride goes to the church nominated by the rider, and half goes to the YHCT, which forms part of the funds from which grants are awarded to local churches. The remainder of the funds awarded by the YHCT come from the waste recycling and landfill schemes - Waste Recycling Environmental Ltd ("WREN") and the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
The YHCT first became involved with WREN in the year 2000 and, since then, has received very substantial funds from it. With these funds, it has helped over 150 places of worship, some of which, especially in the smaller communities, might otherwise have become ‘museum pieces' or ‘private residences' to the detriment of local amenities. As a result, Yorkshire churches and chapels have been awarded grants in total over the last six years in excess of £1 million.
The YHCT grants committees have been very active over the past year. Every place of worship which applies for a grant is visited by an official of the Trust and a report made to the subsequent meeting. In addition to making financial grants it has, on many occasions, suggested possible alternative sources of finance.
It is always worthwhile applying to the YHCT for a grant for your church. Applications should usually be made by mid-March.
YHCT's Website is now live at http://www.yhct.org.uk/