The HELEN TAYLOR TRUST for FINCHAMPSTEAD CHURCHYARD
The burial ground at St James’ church is a common ground administered by the diocese of Oxford, and run locally by the church.
Miss Helen Taylor & Lady Helen Liddle decided to develop more regular funding for the maintenance of the Churchyard. In 1973 £1,400 was deposited with C. of E. Board of Finance, with the sole purpose of using the income to maintain the Churchyard.
The deed defining this created a new charity (separate from St James’ church & PCC). It has:
Custodian Trustees as the Diocesan Trustees (Oxford) Ltd, and
Administrative Trustees as the PCC.
In later years the capital was added to and the aim is to continue to add to the fund to balance the effect of inflation & cost of living. Today the remains of their committee, with additions, run the maintenance. The grass cutting is the major cost as a rule. It is quite a labour because of all the strimming needed round the memorials etc.
The committee is at present:
Richard Owen (Chair)
Ann Pask (Secretary)
Ed Sampson (Treasurer)
Lylyana Seed RC
The attitude they take is that it should be a tranquil place for the living and an honoured place for our dead. The memorials are a reminder of our ancestors’ role in handing over & setting-up life for us. The Trust sometimes repairs a neglected grave in gratitude for their life ~ although it is the family’s responsibility to maintain memorials.
We have a wild area, and encourage wildlife for peaceful enjoyment of the space. It is a place to sit, rest and praise God for the beauty and mystery of His creation.
For the last 3 years income has not covered the maintenance costs. The Trust enhances income with money from fundraising Teas, and the occasional bequest.
Richard Owen, Chairperson, Helen Taylor Trust