St Mary’s Westerham Heritage Trust
St Mary’s Westerham Heritage Trust was launched as a registered charity in April 2003 by a group of local people with the aim to maintain and preserve the thirteenth century Parish Church, a key feature of Westerham. Until then, the costs of maintaining the building had fallen on regular worshippers at the church and by occasional appeals at times of crisis. The Trust raises funds on a regular basis from member subscriptions and from profits on events that we hold throughout the year. These funds are then used to support specific maintenance projects of the church.
Local people and visitors all benefit from the existence of the building whether they use it or not; it’s a central feature in the Town which helps to make Westerham the attractive place it is in which to work, live, and visit. Put it this way, Westerham wouldn’t be the attraction it is if the church fell into disrepair. Unfortunately, maintaining a building of this age is expensive, and in 2005 alone the church faced a bill of £55,000 to repair the chancel roof and all the rainwater goods. The Trust contributed £25,000 towards these costs. It has since been necessary to replace the failing heating in the church at a cost of more than £50,000, and the Trust paid £20,000 of this. The Trust also paid to install CCTV in the church as a protection against vandals, and to repair a church window.
In 2011 the Trust organised a concert in the church by two of the world’s foremost guitarists, John Williams and John Etheridge,which attracted generous sponsorship and a huge audience.
You too may recognise the value of St Mary’s to our culture and environment and wish to support us. To help you can either become a Friend, which costs a minimum of £10 per year, although most of our existing Friends have given rather more, or you could become a Sponsor. For more information take a leaflet at the back of the church, speak to a committee member or email Nigel Bailey (Secretary to the Trust) at email@example.com.
Visit the St Mary’s Heritage Trust Website for further information.