Since 1973 the Norwich Historic Churches Trust has been responsible for managing 18 of the city’s medieval churches that are no longer used for religious worship.
A registered charity, the objects of the trust are the preservation and maintenance, for the public benefit, of redundant churches in Norwich which are of historic or architectural value.
The Trust has worked hard to find new uses for the churches in our care. Of the 18 all but one are currently tenanted, providing accommodation for many of Norwich’s most vibrant and innovative cultural activities. These include the Norwich Arts Centre, the Norwich Puppet Theatre, the Wharf Academy, the Stonemasons’ Guild and the Oak Circus Centre.
One of the Trust’s other responsibilities is to ensure public access to the churches which are an important part of the cityscape and the history of Norwich. Some are accessible on a daily basis while others can be viewed by appointment with the tenant. All of them are accessible during the annual Heritage Open Day (HOD) weekend in September when buildings across Norwich open their doors to the public. The Trust also puts on a varied programme of events during HODs at St Martin at Palace.
The Trust is based at St Martin at Palace, St Martin at Palace Plain, which provides office accommodation for our staff. It is also a base for our volunteers, the Friends of the Norwich Historic Churches and the Centre for Parish Church Studies and where a varied programme of events is put on during the year.
WHO WE ARE
Neil became Chair in 2018, having been Vice Chair since 2015. He is a former University Lecturer in Arts Management and was, for over twenty years, CEO of one of the UK’s leading Management Development and Training Companies working in the Arts and Cultural Sectors. He was an elected member of Norwich City Council from 2012-2016; and also serves as a Trustee of The Plantation Garden.
Chris Herries, vice-chair from 2018, has been a Trustee since 2014 and is currently one of Norwich City Councils representatives. She was involved with the group that developed the successful Flintspiration weekend in 2017 and actually came up with the name for it. As the present NCC Cabinet member for Safer Stronger Neighbourhoods her portfolio includes heritage and she is also a Trustee of the Norwich Preservation Trust and a member of Norwich Heritage Alliance.
Born and bred in rural Norfolk Chris spent some time working in other
parts of the country, becoming the first female chair of Cooperatives UK. Moving back to Norwich in 2013, and with her background in education and community working, she is especially interested in developing activities for children and young people to help them learn from the past to
build the future.
Rachel became NHCT’s Operations Manager in 2018. She manages the Trust’s day-to-day activities including liaising with tenants, assisting with fundraising, and working closely with the Centre for Parish Churches Studies, Friends and volunteers.
Rachel has a Ma in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies and a background of working in museums and local government.
Jane has been providing accounts support since she started her own business in 2015, also assisting with additional support with major projects. As well as her own Book Keeping business, she volunteers as the “Patients Representative” for Central and West Norfolk for End of Life Care, where she endeavours to see that an Honest, Compassionate, Cohesive service is provided to all.
David was appointed as Trustee / Treasurer in September 2016 having spent 35 years as Managing Director of a local I.T Business based in Norwich until his retirement in 2012. David is also a Trustee and Treasurer of St Martins Housing Trust.
Surveyor of the Fabric