ABOUT

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 its care and provides 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, 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 open during the annual Heritage Open Days in September when historic buildings across Norwich open their doors to the public.

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 visitor centre for those wishing to learn about historic churches and the base for our volunteers, the Friends of the Norwich Historic Churches and the Centre for Parish Church Studies.

WHO WE ARE

Neil Blunt

Chair

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

Chris Herries has been vice-chair since 2018 and a Trustee since 2014. She was involved with the group that developed the successful Flintspiration weekend in 2017 and actually came up with the name for it.

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 Kidd

Operations Manager

Rachel first experienced work in the heritage sector during one of her placements in a local government training scheme in London. She moved to Norwich in 2016 to complete a Ma in Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies and spent a year as an Assistant Collections and Learning Curator at Ipswich Museum. Rachel became NHCT’s Operations Manager in 2018 and is now responsible for the trust’s day-to-day activities, from overseeing tenancies, administering trustee meetings, to learning activities, fundraising and events.

Jane Shuttler

Finance Officer

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.

Mark Wilson

Conservation Manager

Mark first started working on historic buildings in 2005 as an assistant conservator with the National Trust at Treasures house in York. After graduating from Bournemouth University in 2008 with a BSc in Heritage Conservation, Mark worked as a self-employed stone conservator on a variety of historic buildings in the North of England including Castle Howard.

In 2013 Mark moved to Norwich City Council as Conservation Officer until 2016 when he joined the Norwich Historic Churches Trust as their Conservation Manager and now looks after the repairs and conservation of 18 redundant medieval churches in Norwich.

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