...keeping Somerset's churches & chapels alive

Welcome to Somerset Churches Trust...

... an independent, non-denominational trust raising money for the repair and improvement of churches and chapels open for Christian worship in the historic county of Somerset. The Trust, founded in 1996 under the name Friends of Somerset Churches and Chapels, exists to encourage interest and the involvement of all members of the community in the magnificent heritage of our fine religious buildings. Already, since its founding, the Trust has made grants of almost £700,000 to over 300 churches and chapels in Somerset.

Grants Available for Roof Alarms

We are delighted to be able to announce that the trust has been awarded £30,000 from Allchurches Trust to enable us to give grants to churches to help towards the installation of roof alarms to provide protection against theft of lead. We can grant up to £1,000 per installation including systems that are already in the process of being put in. The grants are on condition that churches must be members or become members of Somerset Churches Trust for a period of at least 3 years, that the alarm is approved by insurers and is maintained for at least 5 years.

Applications will be dealt with on a first come first served basis. For an Application Form please go to our Grants Application Forms page.

Grant Applications and Closing Date

We welcome applications from churches and chapels of all denominations for grants towards repairs and improvements to enable wider community use subject to our grant terms and conditions. Applicants who are not already members of the trust must become members for at least three years in order for a grant to be paid. Grant applications must normally be received one calendar month before the date of the trustees meeting at which the application will be considered. The next closing date will be 16th March 2018 for the trustees meeting on 14th April 2018.
Click here for more information on Grant Applications.

St Andrew's Church, Cheddar

2018 Programme of Events

We are delighted to be able to announce our programme of events for 2018. Again we have a very varied programme featuring churches and chapels of all denominations. Our Annual Meeting in April at Charterhouse includes a talk and tour of the lead workings important since Roman times. Our Church tour in June includes organ recitals at three churches near Bath and our November talk is by Bob Croft the County Archaeologist. All events are on a Saturday except for the November talk which is on Wednesday.

See the Events Calendar below for brief details including the start time and starting point. For full details of each event click here for the complete programme. You can download this and print it off.

We look forward to seeing you and do please feel free to bring along someone with you and introduce them to the Trust. Our first event is a tour of Cheddar churches starting at St Andrew's (shown above) at 2.00 pm on Saturday 17th March 2018.


Click here for the following:

Books for Sale
Annual Reports
Trustees Annual Reports and Accounts
Press Releases
Church Card Archive
Policies and Procedures

We are delighted to be able to announce that for another year we have been granted additional funding for grants from the National Churches Trust. Click on the heading for more information or go to our Grants Page.

Dr Axel Palmer was interviewed on 14 January 2018 by BBC Radio Bristol and BBC Radio Somerset about the theft of lead from church roofs and the joint SCT and Allchurches Trust initiative to provide funds toward the installation of roof alarms. Axel said that the theft of lead from church roofs is a heritage crime. The intiative has also received wide coverage in local newspapers across the county.

Members will wish to know that, Hugh Playfair, founder of our Trust and Chairman for many years, died peacefully on 21st December 2017. Hugh was the inspiration and guide of the Trust. His vision for the future of our churches and chapels is described in his own words...'a glorious and sustainable future in which the buildings, made fit for today’s purpose, is shared with the community’… but remaining … ’a sanctuary for worship, prayer and reflection’. Our thoughts and prayers are with Hugh’s wife, Bridget, and their children and grandchildren.

17 Mar 18 02:00 PM Cheddar Church Tour
14 Apr 18 02:00 PM Annual Meeting, Talk & Tour
19 May 18 01:30 PM South Somerset Church Tour
16 Jun 18 02:00 PM Churches near Bath and Organ Recitals
21 Jul 18 02:00 PM Medieval Churches of the SW Mendips
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