The world has changed a great deal since the Trust was established, and the committee managing it has reviewed its role and status, as one significant thing that has changed is charity law.
In 2014, it became possible to register a trust as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO). This brings benefits in protecting the trustees from personal liability for costs properly incurred by a trust. We discovered, having instructed lawyers specialising in charity law, that the original Trust Deed and Constitution had not aged well and were in need of some improvement and maintenance. Those who manage trusts are deemed to be the trustees of that trust. So it was that the committee had, unwittingly, been trustees all along. We decided that it was necessary to apply to become a CIO.
We have achieved this, and are happy that the Trust is now not only in a healthy state, but also in a form that can be handed on to our successors, set up for those generations. It has simply been a continuation of what our predecessors had begun
We are conscious that the Trust is unknown to many who have moved into The Lee in more recent years. We want to bring it forward into the community’s awareness and aim to attract more people to become involved in the marvellous events, mainly held in the Old Church, but also to feel that they have a share in this invaluable community asset. You don’t have to be religious to enjoy all that the Old Church has to offer; more than anything the Trust provides friendship, sociability and the chance to enjoy the performances of worldclass artists and speakers.
We want more people to become a ‘Friend of the Old Church Trust’. It costs £10 per year per Friend, and that enables preferential booking of tickets for the events that are often oversubscribed. We are mixing our events as we go forward; some music, some talks on a diverse range of subjects, and always the knowledge that you are contributing towards the rich weave of history that accompanies this old place going back at least 800 years…
We look forward to welcoming you to the Old Church. Please contact Jilly Carleton-Smith (01494 837205) or Pam Garner (01494 837501) to become a Friend of the Old Church and discover the gem in the heart of The Lee.
There is also the twice-monthly 8:00 am Holy Communion Service in the Old Church. The language of the Book of Common Prayer used in the simple, allspoken short service is just as will have been used since the 16th Century in services in the church; another tradition we help to perpetuate.