‘Profound and severe case’ of animal neglect jails Father and son

A father and son, Robert and Conor McAleenan from Country Antrim in Northern Ireland, have today been given custodial sentences and banned for keeping horses for 25 years on 17 animal cruelty offences. The pair had pleaded guilty to the charges brought by the PSNI following a rescue case in November 2011 in which 66 horses, ponies and donkeys were removed from their farm off the Lisnevenagh Road and a separate site nearby. Conor was sentenced to 22 months and will serve 7 months in prison, while his father Robert was given 20 months’ and will serve 4.5 months in prison. The judge also issued a deprivation order so all the animals can now be signed over into the permanent care of the charities who rescued them.

Toast at farm ‘Profound and severe case’ of animal neglect jails Father and sonPSNI Sergeant Allison Liddle and vet Nicolas de Brauwere from Redwings Horse Sanctuary attended two sites on 25th November 2011 and found a number of horses and donkeys in a state of suffering and many more living in pitiful and highly unsuitable conditions. Many were starving hungry and one horse was so weak that it had to be euthanased on welfare grounds. Another piebald mare was so emaciated that she was unable to stand up and despite the best efforts of the rescuers over the next few days, she never recovered. The horses had been left without food or water, many were standing in their own waste with no clean bedding and they were suffering with worm infestations, overgrown hooves and infections such as strangles.

With help from the police, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, the Donkey Sanctuary and Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary spent several days removing all the horses and donkeys from the site and taking them to places of safety. After several days at a holding yard to regain their strength under the care of Redwings Welfare Vet Nicola Berryman and a team from Crosskennan, 23 of the horses and ponies were transported to Redwings HQ in Norfolk.

Redwings Head of Welfare and Senior Vet Nic de Brauwere, who was the lead witness for the prosecution in the case, said: “The welfare concerns I identified were profound and the suffering inflicted on the equines was as severe as it is possible to encounter. I believe Robert and Conor McAleenan fundamentally failed to protect the welfare of their horses and donkeys. They failed to address even their basic health and husbandry requirements and allowed several of the animals to suffer profoundly and for an extended amount of time. I am absolutely delighted to see that justice has finally been done but speaking frankly, this should never have happened in the first place.”

The group rescued by Redwings all made a full recovery and have been named after Breakfast items including, Jam, Muesli, Benedict, Waffle and Croissant. They will be guaranteed a home for life at Redwings, either living at its sanctuary sites or rehomed through the charity’s Guardianship Scheme. Several can be visited at the Redwings Oxhill visitor centre in Warwickshire. One of the cobs, Marmite, has also become the poster boy for the charity’s Strangles awareness campaign after arriving from the farm infected with the disease.

Toast after ‘Profound and severe case’ of animal neglect jails Father and son

PSNI Sergeant Allison Liddle said: “This was one of the most harrowing things I have ever seen both as a police officer and an animal lover. The sight of the awful conditions that these animals were forced to endure will stay with me forever. The tragedy of having to destroy those who had suffered too much was heart-breaking for everyone who was involved in this case. I was joined by Constable Sarah Reid who diligently and professionally built a solid case for these animals and I am delighted that someone has been brought to justice. Animal cruelty has no place in our society. There is no reason why animals should suffer. I would urge anyone who suspects that animals are being harmed or kept in dangerous or unhealthy conditions to call their local police so the appropriate action can be taken swiftly”.

Lyn Friel, founder and manager of Crosskennan Lane Animal Sanctuary, said: “We were delighted to have been able to help the horses and ponies from the yard at Lisnevenagh, which was the worst case of horse cruelty we had ever witnessed. The sights will stay with our volunteers forever. All of the horses rescued have lovely temperaments and we have spent a lot of time on their rehabilitation and preparation for rehoming. Four of the Shetlands have just moved to their new home this week. We are very grateful to Redwings for answering our plea for help when the scale of the case became apparent. It was a real team effort to save as many of these cruelly treated horses as possible.”

Michael Crane, Head of Welfare at The Donkey Sanctuary said: “The Donkey Sanctuary welcomes the serious sentence given to this father and son which reflects the extreme suffering they inflicted on their animals. Our Welfare Advisers were shocked and appalled to find emaciated donkeys living in squalor without food or water, fighting for survival  with other neglected donkeys and ponies and alongside the carcasses of dead animals. Since their rescue, seven of the ten donkeys have made a full recovery at our farms in Devon and two of them have started a new life with a foster home in Surrey, England. We are grateful to the PSNI for contacting us to help rescue these animals and to give them a fresh chance at life. They are now guaranteed sanctuary for life with The Donkey Sanctuary.”

Redwings provides direct care to over 1400 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules with a further 500 living out in loving guardian homes across the country. Please visit or call 01508 481000 for more information. To donate text code RWHS00 followed by the amount you want to give (e.g. ‘RWHS00 £5’) to 70070.



Landmine heroes receive signed guitar donated by Elbow

Christmas has come early for Elbow fans who will have the chance to snap up an incredible gift after the band donated a much-loved guitar to a Manchester-based landmine charity.

Signed by all five members of the band, the Godin Montreal guitar has been used in their live show for the past eight years. The star item is being auctioned on eBay along with lots from Mercury-nominated GoGo Penguin, The Prodigy, Lenny Kravitz and Stephen Fry in aid of MAG (Mines Advisory Group).

Proceeds from the ‘Music Beats Mines’ auction will go to fund MAG’s lifesaving work across the world to clear war zones of landmines and weapons, helping men, women and children gain access to food, water and aid.

mag Landmine heroes receive signed guitar donated by Elbow

Long-time supporters of the Manchester-based charity, Elbow used MAG’s logo on their 2014 chart-topping album The Take Off and Landing of Everything, and have lent their track ‘Colour Fields’ to a MAG video , first aired at Glastonbury this year

Frontman Guy Garvey is encouraging people to grab some one-off music memorabilia in time for Christmas, whilst supporting a charity close to his heart.

He says, “We’ve been huge admirers of the work MAG do for over a decade now. They risk their lives to piece back together war-torn communities. Supporting MAG means that we get to feel like heroes without leaving the safety and comfort of our armchairs”.

“All you have to do to be one of those heroes is bid in their auction. So go on… support MAG this Christmas, and be a hero.”

Elbow Guitar Landmine heroes receive signed guitar donated by Elbow

Some of the music world’s biggest names have donated signed CDs, posters and other one-of-a-kind musical merchandise to MAG for its Music Beats Mines online auction, kicking off this week.

Marilyn Manson, Billy Bragg, and Grammy award-winning country superstar Nanci Griffith have all donated to the online charity auction, starting on Thursday 27 November.

The auction goes live on eBay at 9pm on Thursday 27 November and ends at 9pm on Sunday 7 December 2013. The auction shop can be accessed here .



Collections Unlocked interactive learning sessions explores Questions of Truth

Religious communities in countries such as Iraq, Syria, Northern Nigeria and Sudan are among those currently facing increasing levels of intolerance and even persecution from groups determined to impose their version of religious truth at any cost.

Whilst these events may seem very distant from a British perspective, “Questions of Truth” – the next event in York Minster’s “Collections Unlocked” interactive learning sessions will compare and contrast contemporary events with the English Reformation – one of the most traumatic, turbulent and intolerant periods in the history of the British Isles.

The Reformation was a turning point in history that changed our country and sent it spiralling into almost 100 years of religious turmoil and persecution with some of the effects still being dealt with today.

Canon Chris Collingwood and the Minster’s Historic Collections Team will explore the impact of the Reformation through discussion and investigation of six of the most significant objects and books in the Minster’s Collections – items that represent this period of intense struggle and learning.

“Questions of Truth” will look at:

  • how history can be rewritten depending on which “truth” you choose
  • how propaganda can be used to manipulate the truth
  • how control can exert a particular truth.

Chris Collingwood said:

“The upheavals that we are seeing in the world at the moment have a direct historical parallel in the English Reformation.  In “Questions of Truth”, people will be able to consider the modern context for religious violence and then get up close and personal with objects from the Reformation that will illustrate religious intolerance, persecution, violence and control of hearts and minds.

“We are pleased that the session will take place in the middle of Interfaith Week 2014 and that it will take its place in a UK-wide series of events that will focus on developing and strengthening relationships between faiths, increasing awareness and tolerance of difference and embracing people with religious and non-religious beliefs”.

Collections Unlocked – “Questions of Truth” – takes place at 7.00pm on Wednesday 19th November in the Upper Hall of the Old Palace, Dean’s Park York. Tickets for the event cost £5.00 and can be booked in advance online from www.boxoffice.yorkminster.org or by telephone on 01904 557208.

For more information about Collections Unlocked and York Minster’s Adult Learning programme please visit www.yorkminster.org .

For more information about Interfaith Week please visit www.interfaithweek.org .



The Wisdom of Kids artwork

Theo Paphitis invites Soula to sell her ‘Wisdom of Kids’ books for Children In Need

The Wisdom of Kids book in Ryman stores supports BBC Children in Need

Retail entrepreneur Theo Paphitis has invited a designer Soula Zavacopoulos to sell her ‘Wisdom of Kids’ books in 98 Ryman stores to raise funds for BBC Children in Need.

Ryman nor Soula Zavacopoulos will make a penny from the venture – because all of the profits will go directly to the charity.

A special price of £4.99 (£2 off the normal retail price) has been set for this fundraising campaign and at least £4 from the sale of each book will benefit BBC Children In Need, helping disadvantaged children across the UK.

 

BBC Pudsey and The Wisdom of Kid  Theo Paphitis invites Soula to sell her ‘Wisdom of Kids’ books for Children In Need

BBC Pudsey and The Wisdom of Kid

The book will be on sale from 11th November in stores and online at www.WisdomOfKids.com with BBC Children in Need benefiting from all 100% of the profits of the book sales during November 2014.

The book is full of funny sayings from children and has a strong celebrity fan base following, including pop star and former X-factor judge Dannii Minogue. Earlier this year, she took photos of the book, posting them on her Instagram page and also recommending the book to her 1.23 million Twitter fans.

“Dannii thought the book was very amusing,” says Soula Zavacopoulos, “It’s full of the hilarious and unexpected things children say.”

Soula Zavacopoulos, who works in both London and Devon, has been collecting humorous comments and quotes from children for the last seven years, and has collated her favourites in The Wisdom of Kids book.

“The book captures children’s innocent view the world and their disarming honesty, making for some of the most amusing insights and (often unintentionally) hilarious remarks that will have you in stitches!”

 

Theo Paphitis and Soula Zavacopo  Theo Paphitis invites Soula to sell her ‘Wisdom of Kids’ books for Children In Need

Theo Paphitis and Soula Zavacopo

Theo Paphitis likes the book so much he is even quoted on the cover: “Love it, love it, love it!” Even before the book was published, Theo Paphitis had recognised the potential of The Wisdom of Kids when in 2011 he selected Soula Zavacopoulos as winner of his “Small Business Sunday” award that he runs each Sunday on Twitter.

At the time, The Wisdom of Kids existed solely as a range of greeting cards that Soula had created and published herself through her design company, The London Studio.

Soula sold cards direct to retailers and having supplied stores including Selfridges, Harrods, Fenwick, Bentalls, Paperchase and Harvey Nichols, she impressed Theo with her innovative products, proven to be excellent sellers.

In the three years since winning Theo Paphitis’ SBS award, Soula has won several other awards including the Smarta100, with her company, The London Studio, being named one of the Top 20 Small Businesses in the UK today.

Soula has been busy developing The Wisdom of Kids range and expanding it into gifting, including mugs, coasters, calendars and the gift book. Last month Soula launched The Wisdom of Kids at the top licensing show, Brand Licensing Europe at Olympia, London, and has already signed licensing deals with three major licensees, with new product launches planned from mid 2015 onwards.

“It’s an exciting time for The Wisdom of Kids” says Soula, “I’m thrilled at how fast it’s popularity is growing now and I’m delighted to be able to use it to help raise money for BBC Children in Need this month”.

 

The Wisdom of Kids artwork  Theo Paphitis invites Soula to sell her ‘Wisdom of Kids’ books for Children In Need

The Wisdom of Kids artwork

 

Money raised for BBC Children in Need can help children in lots of different ways, for example:

• £1 could prevent a child from going hungry at breakfast time for a week
• £2.50 could help supply a special pack for premature babies with life-limiting conditions
• £5 means a 5 year old boy in hospital and anxious about his treatment can giggle and laugh at a magical entertainer
• £7 gives a child in a refuge who has witnessed frightening domestic abuse a session of personal support to work through their feelings
• £8 gives a young carer whose daily duties include lifting and bathing their Mum a break each week at a children’s club where they play freely with their friends

To help raise vital funds please buy The Wisdom of Kids book from Ryman stores or online from www.WisdomOfKids.com where 100% of profits from sales of the book during November will benefit BBC Children in Need. That means at least £4 from the sale of each book will go to the charity and help disadvantaged children in the UK.



Support Dryvember with your own alcohol-free selfies

November really is the “not quite” month. Not quite autumn, not quite winter, not quite the festive season . . . so this year why not make this month Dryvember?

That’s right, Dryvember! Can you rise to the challenge and stay dry for a whole month, a marathon (26 days), a half marathon (13 days), a week (during Alcohol Awareness Week from November 17-23), or even just a weekend, to raise money and awareness for The Alcohol Awareness Trust (AET)?

Every penny raised from the no-alcohol Dryvember pretox challenge will help AET continue to provide first class alcohol education to parents, schoolchildren and teachers throughout the country, so kids can enjoy a healthy, responsible relationship with alcohol in the future.

Early drinking among younger teenagers has shown to have huge knock-on effects, often leading to smoking, poor grades and other risky behaviours such as underage sex.

Active in schools throughout Britain, the AET’s open and holistic approach to alcohol education aims to ensure that teachers, parents and secondary school students have access to the best resources, support and information to help delay the uptake of drinking among kids.

And, even better, partnering organisations The Big Give and The Childhood Trust have pledged to match all donations – doubling the funds raised this Dryvember!

So let’s get everyone involved this Dryvember. We are already bursting with ideas to help you with your very own fundraising.

 

Have a go at saying No Support Dryvember with your own alcohol free selfies

 

And even if you’re not taking part for the whole month, you can still show your support for the campaign by sending us your very own #AlcoFreeSelfie!

During Dryvember we want to see you enjoying some alcohol-free moments, wherever they may be. From mocktails to movie-nights, there are plenty of ways for you to get creative and snap yourself enjoying an alcohol-free beverage.

Why not get you family and friends involved too, via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter?  Be a trendsetter and nominate them to better your #AlcoFreeSelfie.

As well as awareness, The Alcohol Education Trust is trying to raise £25,000 to help 25,000 kids receive their invaluable talkaboutalcohol programme in 100 schools next year.

For every #AlcoFreeSelfie you take and post, you can donate £3 to the campaign by texting ‘DRY’ to 70660.  You can donate any other amount to by texting ‘Dry £5’ or whatever amount you choose by indicating it after the £ sign. You can also make a donation online : http://www.alcoholeducationtrust.org/dryvember/donate/

Every week, Dryvember will post the best snaps, with prizes available for the most creative – including a day a 5-star health spa, to help you really make the most of your booze break.

It’s easy to get on board this Dryvember, so dust off your camera, perfect your pout and get ready to start taking shots. Alcohol-free shots, of course!

For more information about the campaign, fundraising ideas and how to get involved, visit www.dryvember.com

For more details about The Alcohol Trust and their work, visit www.alcoholeducationtrust.org



CRA017 2014NXC_ad_v5

CRASH Launches 2014 No Christmas Card Appeal

CRASH, the construction and property industry’s charity for homeless people, is raising awareness of the fact that there is a desperate need to engage with rough sleepers throughout the year and not just through the severe Christmas weather.

This year alone the charity has helped over 7,000 vulnerable people throughout the UK get back on their feet and build a future.

68 projects across the UK, from Inverness to Newquay, benefitted from CRASH’s provision of pro bono professional expertise, donated and discounted materials and cash grants totalling £603, 631.

Although these figures are to be celebrated, there are legions of ‘hidden homeless’ not making use of year-round charitable services.

Providing easily accessible facilities for these vulnerable people, particularly during bleak winter conditions, is now more critical than ever. With this in mind, CRASH has launched their No Christmas Card Appeal 2014.

The premise for the appeal is simple: CRASH are asking companies to donate their full Christmas card budget. The money raised will then enable CRASH, through its unique relationship with its patrons, to construct and improve the buildings that give homeless men and women the opportunity to get off the streets and start rebuilding their lives.

In return for donations over £100 you’ll get a CRASH animated Christmas e-card with your company logo. If you donate £500 or more by 19th December, we’ll include your company’s name or logo in our special Thank You ads which we’ll be running in the industry media (construction & property) in the New Year.

“When you make a donation to CRASH, you are making an investment a person. You are reaching out to some of the most vulnerable men and women in our society and helping them to get back on their feet and rebuild their lives,” says CRASH Chief Executive Francesca Roberts.

“But your donations don’t stand alone.  The companies that support CRASH add to your contributions the value of their donated professional expertise and their building materials.  That really is a powerful formula for providing practical and sustainable support for people.”

Make a pledge to the CRASH 2014 No Christmas Card Appeal and sacrifice an impermanent Christmas card to make a permanent difference.

 

CRA017 2014NXC ad v5 CRASH Launches 2014 No Christmas Card Appeal

 

About CRASH

CRASH is a unique, practical charity addressing the issues of homelessness by harnessing the skills, products and goodwill of the construction and property industry. We act as the conduit between the industry and homelessness agencies to help improve emergency night shelters, hostels, day centres and move-on accommodation.

For our patron companies, the partnership with CRASH offers the opportunity for their organisation and employees to be instrumental in delivering improved accommodation to homeless people. And not just through donating money. It allows them to use their skills, capabilities and products to provide a service which, in many cases, money can’t buy.



Student Grub Providing Free Food For Liverpool Students

More than 7,000 new Liverpool John Moores University and University of Liverpool students will receive a free food box as part of an initiative to show young people how to eat well on a budget.

In partnership with the Student Grub Company, locally-sourced fruit and vegetables will be provided along with herbs, pulses and dried goods to encourage students to cook healthy meals for themselves and their new flatmates.

Even novice cooks will be able to rustle up a really tasty dinner using just one knife, one board and one pan as recipe cards are also included in each food box. Dishes include ‘Cor Blimey Couscous’ with sautéed vegetables and herbs, ‘Mama Mia Risotto’ with leek, mushroom and tarragon, ‘Mighty Morrocan Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry’ and ‘Ole Tomato and Bean Mexican Stew.’

Each weekly hamper box has enough food to last four or five days and normally costs £12 – equal to the price of one large takeaway pizza.

The recipes have been devised by Student Grub founder and passionate foodie, April Green, who was inspired to set up the company when her son was about to start university.

April explained: “Empowering students to cook for themselves will be the focal point of my business this year. I’ll be working in collaboration with residential assistants at both universities and the Liverpool Guild of Students’ Green Fund, delivering loads of fun Student Grub activities in halls during the academic year.”

Yvonne Turnbull, Head of LJMU’s Student Advice and Wellbeing team said: “The start of the student journey often begins in halls which is why we want to ensure that students are given every opportunity to make the best possible start. By providing access to a free and healthy meal we want to encourage students to think positively about healthy eating. The University is keen to encourage students to stay healthy throughout their time at LJMU. Students who eat well study more effectively and are more likely to obtain the academic results that they want.

 

Student Grub Student Grub Providing Free Food For Liverpool Students

 

“The aim of the initiative is also to ease the transition into life in halls. Moving into student accommodation is exciting but it can be quite daunting too. Not only are you leaving the security of home but you are moving into a flat full of strangers. What better way to help new students get to know each other than over a nutritious, delicious meal they’ve cooked together themselves.”

Dan Cole, Liverpool SU’s Vice President Community Engagement said: “At LiverpoolSU we’re keen to promote healthy eating and lifestyles and support the Student Advice and Wellbeing Student Grub initiative. It’s a fantastic opportunity to bring flatmates together and encourage them to cook as a flat, which is great not just from a health point of view, but also socially.”

Alex Ferguson, Vice President of Liverpool Guild of Students leading on sustainable issues, said: “It’s fantastic that we could work with halls’ wardens and use Green Guild funding to offer grub boxes to University of Liverpool students. Learning how to cook healthy food on a budget is hugely important to students moving to University for the first time – so being able to offer them fresh products is a great way to get them started. We provide students with lots of opportunities to eat healthily, one of which is our newly established food cooperative in our Guild shop, where students can buy vegetables and student prices.”

Accommodation providers involved in this project are Unite, Sanctuary Students, CLV, Liberty Living, Victoria Hall and Fresh Student Living, covering thirteen student halls.

The Student Grub Company uses Prescotts Farm in Ormskirk, a third generation fruit and veg farmers and wholesaler, to supply fresh local produce. Combined with its recycled and reusable boxes, this means that the company is supporting North West businesses and helping protect the planet too.

For more information on Student Grub, go to www.student-grub.com



7 mistakes that will prevent your home from selling

2 7 mistakes that will prevent your home from sellingIt’s not easy to sell a home, especially in today’s highly competitive market. Buyers currently have a lot to choose from, so you need to do everything you can to make your property stand out. If you’re sloppy about putting it on the market, then you could be waiting for a very long time. Avoid making these 7 mistakes and you’ll significantly increase your chance of success

Asking for too much money

Whether your home has increased or decreased in value since you bought it, don’t ask for too much. Ellen Derrick at LeanVest states that “your property is only worth what the market is willing to pay.” When you’re coming up with a price, listen to your real estate agent. They constantly watch the market and will know exactly how much you should get. Virtually everybody who’s interested will make an offer, but if the price it too high they won’t even give it a second look.

Skipping marketing

You can’t expect the word to get around if you simply stick a “For Sale” sign in your garden and wait for a buyer. You must use as many marketing methods as you possibly can. This includes everything from Internet listings and local newspaper listings to open house events and realtor advertising. By tackling multiple advertising methods more people will see your home; it’s basic mathematics. Waiting for a lucky drive-by just isn’t enough.

Not contacting a professional

Unless you know exactly what you’re doing, contact a professional realtor to help you with the legalities. There are a lot of contracts and disclosure laws to deal with and unless you are trained in the subject, you could find yourself subject to legal disputes in the future. Don’t bypass hiring a professional because you think you’ll save money. If you end up making mistakes you could find yourself much worse off.

Leaving things broken

Buyers will assess your home with close scrutiny and actively look for problems. Always repair anything that’s broken, no matter how small it may be. Even something like a loose door knob could be enough to deter potential buyers, not because of the breakage itself, but because it shows a lack of respect with regards to your home and could be a sign of poor general maintenance. Clear gutters, repaint your walls and ensure everything is visually sound and operational.

Letting emotions take over

No doubt you’ve been living in your house for many years. Of course you’ll have a certain level of emotional attachment to it, that’s only natural, but remember that other people won’t feel the same way. What you may consider “perfect,” such as your décor choice, others may hate. When you have a viewing scheduled try to make the space look as neutral as possible so buyers can imagine what it could look like when they’ve moved in.

Not cleaning up

Logistically, leaving your stuff around isn’t a huge deal; however, you want buyers to envision what it would be like with their own things. First impressions are very important and most people will know whether or not it’s a yes or no within the first seconds of entry. Hide items that are too personal, such as large family portraits. This sends the subliminal message, “this is my house, not yours,” and could make it difficult for buyers to imagine living there.

Getting offended by low offers

When you’ve been house hunting, no doubt you’ve negotiated a better price and tried to get it as low as possible. Other people will do the same, so don’t get offended if they make a low offer. From their point-of-view, they might as well try. Just remember that it’s not personal, it’s just business.

Avoiding these mistakes is the key to a quick and successful sale. If you aren’t sure where to start, contact Robert Irving Burns for professional consultancy.



A £330,000 rescue package for 21 of the UK’s most historic and community-minded churches and chapels has been announced by the National Churches Trust.

Future of historic churches secured by funding

National Churches Trust Future of historic churches secured by funding

A £330,000 rescue package for 21 of the UK’s most historic and community-minded churches and chapels has been announced by the National Churches Trust.

Huw Edwards, broadcaster and journalist and Vice-President of the National Churches Trust said:

“The National Churches Trust’s £330,000 repair and rescue funding will safeguard the future of 21 places of worship in England, Wales and Scotland and strengthen local communities“

“National Churches Trust grants will help pay for urgent repairs to crumbling spires, leaking roofs and ancient drains, helping to bring some of the most beautiful and historic churches and chapels back to their full glory.”

“National Churches Trust grants will also fund a range of projects to install kitchens, toilets and improve access for the elderly and people with disabilities. This will help churches and chapels become welcoming community hubs that can better serve the needs of worshippers, community organisations and visitors. “

Places of worship in England, Wales and Scotland benefit from the latest round of funding from church building support charity, the National Churches Trust. Amongst the churches being offered grants are:

  • St Pancras Old Church, one of the oldest churches in London and a site of Christian worship since the 4thcentury.
  • St Anne’s Church, Chasetown, Staffordshire, in 1883 one of the first churches in the UK to have electricity.
  • St Mary, St Peter and St Paul, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire, a church with a tower dating from 1270, originally built to guard the Severn river against possible incursions from Wales.
  • The United Reformed Church in Ottery St Mary, Devon, one of the oldest non-conformist churches in England.
  • St Mary’s Church in Clapham, London, one of the major Roman Catholic Victorian churches of south London.
  • St Luke’s Church in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, built in 1886, with a growing congregation and a mission to help ex-offenders from local prisons.

Buildings supported come from a wide range of denominations including Church of England, Church in Wales, Church of Scotland and Roman Catholic churches, as well as a United Reformed Church, Methodist chapel sand a building belonging to the Celestial Church of Christ.

Claire Walker, Chief Executive of the National Churches Trust said:

“Many of the churches and chapels we are helping in this funding round serve small rural communities. All too often, churches and chapels are the only community building left in a village. Keeping them open and in good repair is vital for local people who use them not only for worship but also for social and welfare activities.”

“For many people, the beauty of village churches is one of the most attractive features of the UK’s heritage. However, keeping them in good repair is usually way beyond what a small village can afford. That’s why the work of the National Churches Trust and other funders in supporting church buildings is so important.”

“As the National Churches Trust receives no financial support from church authorities or government, our work is entirely funded through the generosity of our supporters. So if you would like to help us to keep churches, chapels and meeting houses alive, please consider joining us as a Friend or by making a donation to support our work. There is full information on our website at www.nationalchurchestrust.org .”

ENGLAND

CORNWALL

St Petroc’s Church, Bodmin, Cornwall, PL31 2AB

Grade I (Church of England)

St Petroc’s Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to install kitchen and toilet facilities within the church, including disabled and baby changing facilities.

St Petroc’s is the largest parish church in Cornwall. It features as one of the thirty churches in the BBC’s Songs of Praise Book, ‘The Nation’s Favourite Churches’. Originally a Norman church, it is now primarily late 15th century. Adjoining the churchyard to the east are the remains of the Chapel of St Thomas, which is a scheduled ancient monument. The site is associated with pre-Norman monastic activity; the first dedication to St Petroc being 1299.

The church is used for civic and concert events. It acts as a centre for outreach, including local food bank collections. The present project to provide kitchen and toilet facilities will increase the potential for community use and reflect the demand and the changing demographics of the local and church community. Inward and European migration has resulted in an increase in the number of young families and children attending services and baptisms. There is an equal demand from the elderly element of the congregation and those visiting or attending events at the church.

St Wenappa’s Church, Gwennap, Cornwall TR16 6BD

Grade I (Church of England)

St Wenappa’s Church receives a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof, which is in a very poor condition with slates slipping regularly.

Gwennap is a hamlet of about 20 houses with the church at its centre. Founded on a Celtic Monastery, the church dates from the 13thcentury and is now a three-aisled church with fine Victorian windows. It is one of only four churches in Cornwall with a detached bell tower. Bells are rung for services, weddings if required, and on Thursdays evenings for practice.

DEVON

United Reformed Church, Ottery St Mary, Devon EX11 1EU

Grade II (United Reformed Church)

The United Reformed Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the church roof, including re-slating.

The church was started by a renegade vicar from Talaton, Robert Collins, who joined other clergy in defying the political control exerted over the church in the 17th century. In 1662 he started an independent church of dissenters, meeting in the family home, Chanters House.

It cost him dearly. He was fined, imprisoned in Exeter Gaol, suffered a breakdown and eventually forced into exile in Holland for his faith in Jesus. On his return to Ottery in 1688, he found that a church had been built as a meeting place for his congregation. It is today one of the oldest non conformist churches in England.

Inside the Church , in the early days a trap door allowed the preacher to escape from the militia who were sometimes in search of dissenting ministers.

The church is used by a number of community groups and the Ottery Food Bank, run by Churches Together in Ottery, is based at the church.

All Saints Church, Thurlestone, Devon TQ7 3NP

Grade II* (Church of England)

All Saints Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust repair grant to help fund urgent repairs to the tower. The stonework has suffered badly due to the nature of the stone (mudstone) in such an exposed location, and it is denaturing in places.

All Saints Church, dedicated to St Mary is an ancient structure built of dark grey local slate, with an embattled tower, a lofty spire and it has five bells.

The church is at the centre of the village and its hall provides accommodation for several activities, including regular well-attended coffee mornings, soup lunches in the winter, three course lunches once a week for those finding it difficult to cook, bridge lessons, cream teas for visitors in the summer months and monthly showings of the latest films.

GLOUCESTERSHIRE

St Mary, St Peter and St Paul, Westbury-on-Severn, Gloucestershire GL14 1PS

Grade I (Church of England)

St Mary, St Peter and St Paul Church receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to its 150 foot spire which has been damaged by water penetration.

An extraordinarily large church which dates from about 1300, a special feature is a detached tower, built about 1270 as a garrison or watch tower to guard the river against possible incursions from Wales. The spire was added in the 14th century and is made entirely of wood. Looking up inside, it resembles a giant spider’s web of timber.

The tower contains six bells, the heaviest ring of six in Gloucestershire. There is a fine collection of Victorian stained glass windows by well-known firms including Clayton and Bell, Kemps and Tower.

HAMPSHIRE

Holy Trinity Church, Fareham, Hampshire PO16 0EL

Grade II* (Church of England)

Holy Trinity Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Gant to pay fund urgent repairs to secure falling masonry and to remove the remains of a spire.

Holy Trinity Church is located in the main street of Fareham and is the civic church. Built in 1835, it is an outstanding example of early 19thcentury Gothic style with an elegant tower and graceful interior.

The church is built of a local white brick with stone dressings. It was a Commissioners’ church, its architect Thomas Ellis Owen (1805–1862), a Portsmouth man who was largely responsible for the development of Southsea.

KENT

Holy Family Church, Gravesend, Kent DA12 5DQ

Unlisted (Church of England)

Holy Family Church receives a £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant project to help fund a project to install new toilets, with baby changing facilities and disabled access .

The church was built in 1957-8 and consecrated in June 1959. It has an open worship area and a spacious hall attached. The hall has not been significantly improved since the 1960s.

As well as serving the spiritual needs of Christians living in the area, Holy Family Church also supports community-led organisations and initiatives that serve local people and families. The hall is the only community facility in the area.

The immediate benefits of the improvements will be that the hall will be better serviced, more attractive and safer to users. The main benefit will be that the hall will be used more frequently by families and community organisations in the Parish, which is one of the most disadvantaged in the country according to official statistics.

LANCASHIRE

Trinity Methodist Church, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 2JY

Locally Listed (Methodist)

Trinity Methodist Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help find a project including installing toilet facilities, improving disabled access and removing all pews and replacing them with removable seating.

Built in 1887, this is an archetypal, medium sized Wesleyan Chapel.The church is immediately next to the town park and is locally referred to as ‘the church on the park’. In 1963 the three Methodist churches in Clitheroe chose this building as their joint church. At that time there were significant modifications made to the interior of the church. Since then there has been little change to the church itself apart from decoration and repair.

Currently, the building is only open for services and other special events. The project will enable the building to be used for a wide range of activities and it is envisaged that it will be open for significant periods during the week.

LONDON

Celestial Church of Christ, 187 Glengal Rd, Peckham, London SE15 6RN

Grade II (Celestial Church of Christ)

The Celestial Church of Christ receives a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a large project to fix dangerous stonework and replace parts of the roof.

Formerly a Church of England building, the church was built in 1864-65 by Enoch Bassett Keeling. He was master of the short-lived vogue of “Eclectic Gothic”. His work was often unloved and relatively few of his buildings have survived.

The Celestial Church of Christ is active in helping local people and plans further work to care for young people, irrespective of their religious orientation.

Elephant and Castle Parish in London was established in the year 1975 and is the second Celestial Church of Christ church to be established in UK and Ireland. It is the largest Celestial Church of Christ parish with a congregation of about 500 registered members.

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church, Clapham, London SW4 7AP

Grade II* (Roman Catholic)

St Mary’s Roman Catholic Church receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the spire, 170 feet tall and a major local landmark.

St Mary’s in Clapham is one of the major Catholic Victorian churches of South London. It was opened to serve the growing numbers of Catholics living around Clapham Common in the middle of the 19th Century who came to work on the new roads and railways, as well as meet the demand by the rising middle classes to enlarge their domestic staffs.

The church was designed in a Gothic style by William Wardell and has later additions by J E Bentley, architect of Westminster Cathedral.   

From 1847 Mass was said in a house in North Street, Clapham Old Town, known as St Anne’s, owned by the Daughters of the Heart of Mary. This had to suffice until the arrival of the Redemptorist Order in Clapham, who arrived in 1848 at the invitation of (Bishop) Wiseman, and who quickly commissioned designs from William Wardell for a spectacular new Decorated Gothic Revival church. The foundation stone was laid on 2 August 1849 and the church was opened by Cardinal Wiseman on 14 May 1851. The church was consecrated on 13 October 1852, its debt having been cleared by a large donation from (Fr) Edmund Douglas, a wealthy convert who had joined the Redemptorist Congregation. The foundation stone was laid in 1849.

St Pancras Old Church, Pancras Rd, London NW1 1UL

Grade II* (Church of England)

Ancient drains threaten the longevity of this picturesque Grade II* listed building, one of the oldest churches in London . St Pancras Old Church receives a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a major project to prevent rainwater from destabilising the building. This will stop further subsidence and allow for future repairs and upgrades to wiring and lighting.  

St Pancras Old Church has been a site of Christian worship since the 4th century. Records of the present church date back to the 11thcentury. The altar houses a 7thcentury altar stone and medieval fabric survives, although much of the visible church dates from 1848.

Situated behind the busy inner-city St Pancras railway station, the church retains its rural character, surrounded by a Victorian park and historic burial grounds. Until 150 years ago, people were still being buried in the churchyard. Notable burials include Mary Wollstonecraft, author of The Vindication of the Rights of Women and Sir John Soane. Sir John Soane built his impressive family mausoleum in the churchyard, the design of which went on to inspire Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s famous red telephone box. The churchyard was also the site of the first romantic tryst between Mary Godwin and Percy Bysshe Shelley.

NORFOLK

St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Scarning, Norfolk NR19 2PF

Grade I (Church of England)

St Peter and St Paul’s Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to completely replace rainwater goods and provide a new drainage system.

A medieval and later flint, brick and stone parish church, consisting of a west tower, an aisleless nave with a south porch and a chancel with a south vestry

The parish of Scarning lies immediately to the west of the parish of Dereham. It comprises the old village around the church, several outlying hamlets and a large, modern estate on the Dereham boundary.

The only amenities in the centre of the village are the playing field, village hall and church. There are no shops or pubs and public transport is very poor. The church has free use of the village hall and its facilities, which stands opposite. The church has an outreach ministry to a large care home in the village which specialises in dementia care.

NORTHAMPTONSHIRE

Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ringstead, Northamptonshire NN14 4DH Grade I (Church of England)

The Church of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to install a toilet and serving area and create an open plan functional area.

The church dates back to 1124. The bell tower is unique as it is a three sectional tower and spire together. Four of the original bells remain today. Memorial tablets in this tower date back to the 1700s. The south door and porch date back to 1240, the porch having a diagonal buttress and carved stone finial depicting the tree of life.

In addition to worship, the church is open daily for visitors and is used by groups of children, adults and the elderly. There is a huge need for a toilet/serving area and an open space facility, which will at least double the use of the building. This will allow use of the church for concerts and recitals, by art and history groups and allow the church to create a cultural and heritage centre for use by local people and visitors.

SOMERSET

St Peter and St Paul Church, Maperton, Somerset   BA9 8EJ

Grade II (Church of England)

St Peter and St Paul Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund a project to recover the roofs to the nave, chancel, north and south transepts and to repair windows.

St Peter and St Paul is the focus of a tiny village that has no shops, no pub and no village hall. There has been a church on the site of the present structure since about 940 A.D. The existing tower dates from the late 15th century.

Fire swept through the church on 26 December 1849 destroying the roof. By 1869 the church was said to be dilapidated and it was demolished, except for the tower.

The new church , designed by Henry Hall in Early English style in 1869, cost £1,500 and was built of rubble with freestone dressings under a roof of Maperton tiles.

STAFFORDSHIRE

St Anne’s Church, Chasetown, Staffordshire WS7 3QL

Grade II* (Church of England)

St Anne’s Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund repairs to the roof and gutters.

St Anne’s was one of the first churches in the UK to have electricity. John Robinson, a director of the local colliery, had St Anne’s built for the benefit of the miners. Its connection with the colliery led to an electricity cable being laid between No 2 pit and the church in 1883.

The church was built in 1865 and its symmetrical design is unusual and reflects the style of the Romanesque Revival because its designer, Edward Adams, was an industrial architect who spent more time creating railway stations than churches .

TYNE AND WEAR

St John’s Church, Whorlton, Westerhope, Newcastle upon Tyne NE5 1NN

Unlisted (Church of England)

St John’s Church receives a £20,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof and to improve waterproofing.

The church is a historic landmark for those entering Westerhope. It is by far the oldest building between Westerhope and the outskirts of Newcastle.

It has a unique design reflecting its evolutionary history. The first part was constructed in 1866 and consisted of a nave, with fully exposed roof leg scissor trusses; a chancel with a rounded apse and a modest bell tower. In 1911, the east end was demolished and a new taller chancel was built. In 1999 a stained glass window was installed in the chancel which depicts the ‘Creation’.

In addition to church services, the church is a popular venue for family celebrations and is also regularly used for: choral and orchestral concerts, local history exhibitions, other local exhibitions such as fashion designs and photography, music and flower festivals and educational visits on a variety of topics by local primary and special schools.

St Luke’s Church, Claremont Street, Newcastle Upon Tyne NE2 4AH

Grade II (Church of England)

St Luke’s Church receives a £40,000 National Churches Trust Cornerstone Grant to help fund urgent repairs to the roof and replacement of rainwater goods.

St Luke’s Church is on the English Heritage At Risk Register and is currently not in use due to safety concerns, with services taking place in the church hall.

The church was built in 1886 as a daughter church of St Andrews, Newcastle, and replaced an earlier corrugated iron mission church on this site. Together with the church hall, it forms a prominent red-brick building group within the local setting of Claremont Road, and within the Framlington Place Conservation Area.

St Luke’s Church has a growing, lively congregation, well situated to reach out into the University and medical communities. It has a strong sense of mission to marginalised people, especially ex-offenders, and hosts a weekly event for ex-offenders from local prisons. Bringing the church building back into use will enable further expansion of mission and community uses, as well as providing a larger worship space for the growing congregation.

YORKSHIRE

Wesley Chapel, Oxford Street, Harrogate, Yorkshire HG1 1PP

Grade II (Methodist)

The Wesley Chapel receives a £5,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant project to help fund the removal of downstairs pews, the creation of a level floor and the re-design of some existing rooms and the kitchen.

The building is a very large neo-classical chapel of 1862 origin situated in the centre of Harrogate. It was designed and built by Lockwood and Mawson. It is a grade II listed church building and a dominant landmark in the town. Its organ is 100 years old and the Chapel also have a Yamaha grand piano and guest pianists include Stephen Hough, Angela Hewitt, and Christina Ortiz.

The chapel’s structure no longer suits its current elderly congregation and restricts the activities required by younger members of the church family. Just as importantly it actively prevents the worship space being utilised during the rest of the week. This development will provide the maximum flexibility for the community and full use of the chapel space, offering full weekday use for many more community groups and an extra revenue stream that can secure the use of the building as a resource for the community. Specifically, the project development will be focused on encouraging and supporting imaginative worship and spirituality.

WALES

FLINTSHIRE

St Andrew’s Church, Garden City, Flintshire CH5 2HN

Unlisted (Church in Wales)

St Andrew’s Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to re-order and refurbish the church to make it a multipurpose building. This will include a new extension for toilet facilities, a new kitchen installation, a new sliding partition to separate the Sanctuary, upgraded meeting room and general redecorations.

The church is a mainly brick built building. It celebrated its 50th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone in 2012. The new church replaced an older wooden structure on the banks of the River Dee. Many of the internal fittings / furnishings were built by local parishioners.

The existing Church hall is used extensively by community groups. However, the hall’s deteriorating condition means that it is becoming prohibitively expensive to both maintain and insure. The closure of the local Chapel, library and snooker hall/social club means that there are virtually no other community facilities.

A new dual purpose facility will offer both a church and community rooms for the local community and businesses to use. Garden City is now part of the new Communities First area in Flintshire, and as such has been recognised by the Welsh Government as an area in need of extra help due to its level of social deprivation.

POWYS

St Peter’s Church, Llanbedr Ystrad Yw, Crickhowell, Powys NP8 1SR

Grade II*   (Church in Wales)

St Peter’s Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Repair Grant to help fund the restoration of the stone tiled roof and to repair stonework and pointing.

St Peter’s is an 11thcentury church, built on an earlier sacred site, with a 14thcentury fortified tower. The church is the largest building in the village. Nestling in a fold of the hills above Crickhowell, at the foot of the Black Mountains, Llanbedr is a small but lively village with a Church School, pub and Village Hall as well St Peter’s Church.

The Welsh word Llanbedr means St. Peter, and the first priest listed in the parish was in the 11th Century.  It is an ancient settlement known as Llanbedr Ystrad Yw by the Romans – which roughly translates as “The Llanbedr which is in the region of the yew tree” referring to an ancient yew in Cwmdu.  The yew trees in Llanbedr churchyard are also ancient, one probably nearly three thousand years old, so it is likely to have been a place of worship before Christianity arrived.

SCOTLAND

SCOTTISH BORDERS

Yetholm Church, Kirk Yetholm, Scottish Borders, TD5 8PF

Listing B (II*) (Church of Scotland)

Yetholm Church receives a £10,000 National Churches Trust Community Grant to help fund a project to install new toilets and a kitchen.

Built in the 19th Century to replace an old daub and wattle building, Yetholm Church is an imposing kirk with tower and corner columns created from local dark stone. It sits in the historic village of Kirk Yetholm at the end of the Pennine way and the beginning of the new Scottish National Trail. The medieval bell is still in use. As the nearest burial ground to Flodden, the graveyard is believed to have interred officers fallen in that battle (1513).

The installation of modern facilities will enable the church to be used for people to meet, for cultural events and to address the needs of weekday visitors many of whom are pilgrims or walkers.



Keeping volunteer tourism sustainable and valuable experience

Volunteer tourism has become a phenomenon in the last few decades, with up to ten million taking part and generating up to £1.3 billion yearly revenues. Some are motivated by altruism, some for more selfish reasons but whichever, the growth, in scope and mode of ‘voluntourism’ gathers apace and is having significant global impact. Theoretically, volunteer tourism is a win-win; a sustainable means to positive change in host communities, and enlightening personal experience for the volunteer. Job done?

Not so easy. Many snags have become evident in the industry; for-profit unethical operators ‘greenwashing’ the unsuspecting public, skills gap between volunteer and host community needs, poor management of volunteer expectation: cheap labour or means to emancipation? Religious, intolerance and “neo-colonial” attitudes. All giving great potential to damage rather than improve cultural understanding, environments and indeed lives of host community members as intended. So how can the pitfalls be avoided? This article in Journal of Sustainable Tourism discusses volunteer tourism as a research area and how best to move forward and keep it sustainable for all.

Abuse and mismanagement of this socially responsible industry has given call for more regulation and monitoring. Could volunteers be better prepared pre-trip? How better matched to organisations and communities? Should volunteers be systematically debriefed to minimise future negativity? Could social media be a channel for information transfer? A TripAdvisor for voluntourism? In any case research is proving that frameworks are needed to assess the impacts of volunteer tourism. Development of the “International Voluntourism Guidelines for Commercial Tour Operators” has been an important first step; the author now stresses the need for an inexpensive and efficient means of “ measuring a small but important group of indicators that are most useful and important to the success and sustainability of volunteer tourism”. By joining the forces of operators, communities and volunteers, the industry could realise the full potential to improve international development in a supremely sustainable way.



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