Welcome to our Annual Review and Summary of Accounts for 2015/2016. You can see The Trustees’ Statutory Annual Report to the Charity Commission here on the website. These and the full Accounts will be also be available at the Annual Meeting when Members will be invited to receive them. They record another good year for the Trust.
I hope you enjoy Sarah Brown’s special article about our county’s wonderful heritage of stained glass. Chalgrove and Kingston Lisle were just two of the major projects completed this year with our support. Another I visited was the effective new lighting we supported in the beautiful church at Thame. And of course we supported a mass of smaller projects across the county. We awarded 39 new grants (listed opposite) totalling £197,000 net (up from £194,000 in 2014/2015).
In future we hope to give even more, thanks to our Jubilee Campaign. In February we marked its public conclusion and the successful launch of our endowment Heritage Fund with a lovely Service in Dorchester Abbey. The pledges of donations and legacies we have received will in time bring the Fund up to our £3m target and produce an increasing supplementary income stream to support our grant making. We believe that we are the first county trust to have attempted such a Campaign. We are deeply grateful to all those who have contributed and to Bernard Taylor and the members of his Campaign Committee for this magnificent achievement. Bernard and Sir Hugo Brunner were key figures in our Campaign, and I am delighted to record that both have graciously agreed to become our Patrons. Lower key fundraising activity will continue both for the Heritage Fund and to support our current grant making. Legacies will all go into the Heritage Fund and those who pledge legacies will automatically become members of our new Hutchinson Society.
This Review records the church visits we organised for our members, but perhaps the most memorable visit was to Stonor Park and Chapel at the invitation of Lord and Lady Camoys after our well attended Annual Meeting in Nettlebed. In addition, some 180 people attended our two major lectures delivered by Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust, in July and the noted art historian Michael Hall at Blenheim in the autumn.
We are on the way to fulfilling all last year’s objectives (listed in the Statutory Report) but many have taken longer than expected. Among these was the new constitution. We revised this in the light of the discussion at last year’s Annual Meeting and now hope to implement it this year. We will continue efforts to develop the Ride & Stride and attract wider participation and will also develop a strategy to reach out to a wider community of potential supporters of what we do.
I pay tribute to all who work so hard for us behind the scenes but in particular to some who are leaving us. John Yaxley steps down as my Vice Chairman and unfailing source of wise advice. Martin Trowell is retiring as Grants Officer and for years the ever-helpful pilot through our grants procedure for churchwardens and Area Reps. Mark Phillips has stepped down as our exemplary Area Rep for Wallingford and Caroline Jones as Communications Officer having masterminded our new website.
OHCT is growing and developing. We intend to remain an all-volunteer organisation but we need your help. Please do get in touch if you think you could help in any way.
Annual Report 2016
Download the Annual Report 2016
Abingdon Baptist Church
Awarded a grant by the OHCT of £15,000 for major internal improvements in 2014/2015