Marsh Award for Fundraising Volunteer of the Year with the Churches Conservation Trust

The Award recognises someone who has made a particularly valuable contribution to the Churches Conservation Trust in a fundraising capacity. This could be by taking part in fundraising events or organising events on a local and national level.

Nominations for the Award are submitted to the Churches Conservation Trust via their website and are judged in partnership with representatives of the MCT.

Pictured: 2015 Award winner, Andy White (far right) with fundraising cyclists

Peter Lankester and Neil Skelton 2022

St Giles is all that remains of the ghost village of Imber after it was evacuated by the Army for military training purposes in 1943. The church is accessible to the public on only a handful of days per year, with permission from the Ministry of Defense, making conventional fundraising activities centered around visitor access at St Giles particularly challenging. In 2021, over £6,000 was raised at the Imber Open Day on 21st August and volunteers from the Friends of St Giles welcomed 1,800 visitors to the church. Peter and Neil used to work for the CCT and are now longstanding volunteers. They have been involved with St Giles’ for over a decade, showing a long-term commitment to the ongoing care of this historic church and promoting its incredible story. Peter has been working on updating the interpretation in the church, project managing this process from start to finish. The new interpretative panels and banners were launched in August this year to glowing approval from visitors.  

Previous Winners

Friends of All Saints in Horndon

The Friends Group have helped to care for the church for many years, bringing endless enthusiasm and optimism despite a number of challenges. When the church was vandalised by an illegal rave on New Years Eve 2020, the Friends reacted swiftly, communicating with the press, police and the local community to assess the damage and work out a plan to start repairs. They set up a fundraising page and, thanks to their efforts and the support of the community, have so far raised over £20,000. 

Judi Moran and Ros Rowley

These two ladies have been the central driving force in the community of Burley-on-the-Hill. Holy Cross is at the heart of their community and they keep it looking immaculate and take care of the day to day. Judi and Ros have been fundraising for the church’s special clock, made in 1674 by James Knibbs, to be repaired. Together with the rest of the group, they hosted a very successful concert in June which raised £2,600. The group have run many events (with military precision) in the past with very little assistance – they are fantastic hosts! They have enticed local people to give generous donations, not being afraid to ‘make that ask’ and in just a few months have raised significant income, around £6,000, to repair the clock. The church has now been awarded £2,000 by the Joseph Patson Trust for the remainder of the repair work, and Judi and Ros are already planning the celebration gathering.

Teresa Brown

Teresa is the Volunteer Event Coordinator and Tower Captain at Holy Trinity, Privett, and has always been an important part of the day to day activities of the church. In 2018, she went above and beyond in her role when she led the community in organising a fundraising flower festival at the church which raised £9,500 for urgent repairs to the North Wall of the church. Teresa organised the committee members, flower arrangers and stewards to put together 28 flower displays across the weekend which were seen by over 500 people.

Barbara Townsend and Jennie Hiett

Barbara and Jennie never fail to impress with their sustained creative and energetic commitment to fundraising for the CCT by running a number of events at All Saints Church in Idmiston. Most recently they have held a wedding dress exhibition and a local history exhibition which was attended by the local MP. These events combined raised a total of £3,000 for the CCT and have generated public awareness and local interest in the church and the work of the CCT.

Alan Redmond

Alan shares the responsibility for locking and unlocking Halstead church on a daily basis and organises teas to fundraise for the CCT, made all the more impressive due to the fact that he arranges these events independently, without the support of any wider group of volunteers or a Friends committee.

Harriet Tupper

In 2015, Harriet hosted her second annual Pop up Opera in St Margaret of Antioch’s church, The Italian Girl in Algiers by Rossini, raising £500 for the CCT. The Opera has sold out both years, putting the church at the centre of the cultural and social highlight event of Leigh Delamere’s calendar and raising £1000 in total (£500 each year) for the CCT.

Harriet bears £3000 in costs of the production up front including artist’s fees, public liability insurance, drinks and toilet hire, which she claims back from selling 100 tickets at £35 each. She also bears the cost of ensuring that the cast and crew feel like VIPs, staying the night at hers with snacks before the performance, dinner afterwards and breakfast the next day.

Andy White

Andy started helping at St Peter’s in Claydon, Suffolk, in 2005 and went into fundraising by cycling for the Historic Churches Cycle Ride. In 2011 he undertook a fundraising cycle ride around the whole of East Anglia, visiting all of the Churches Conservation Trust’s 72 churches in twelve days. He has also arranged sponsored walks in aid of St Peter’s amongst a number of other events and taken part in the 2013 Cathedral cycle ride, visiting all five cathedrals in East Anglia as well as other churches.

Andy carries out fundraising locally for the Churches Conservation Trust helping Churches as far as Willingale in Essex, Kings Lynn, and Icklingham. His love and support of churches, and the significant contributions he has made to Churches Conservation Trust mean that Andy is the ideal recipient of this Award.