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 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 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 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.