At the Heart of Communities, Always: introducing a medieval Buckinghamshire gem to new neighbours.

The Churches Conservation Trust is privileged to care for a wonderful collection of architecturally significant, historic churches. But we know that their value goes well beyond bricks and mortar: the cultural heritage embodied in these special places holds an enduring social importance, too.

Our belief in the importance of working with local people – refined over 50+ years across hundreds of parish churches nationally – not only helps us strengthen partnerships with existing church communities but allows us to reach out to other groups for whom engaging with a many-hundred-year-old, local church is a completely new experience.

This year, CCT’s annual fundraising appeal – ‘At the Heart of Communities. Always’ – asks you to support us in our mission to reach out to new people in the communities surrounding these precious churches. This aspect of CCT’s work is vital to continue the story of these remarkable places, making them a hub of discovery, and securing their future for generations to come.

We have produced a very short video to demonstrate some of this work in action


At St Lawrence’s Church, Broughton, Buckinghamshire, our Heritage Learning Team has been working in partnership with staff from a local primary school to engage children and parents with a medieval gem of a church, packed full of intriguing artworks and social histories: from a headless St George on horseback slaying a two-headed dragon, to a dramatic ‘Doom’ painting and a warning against blasphemy, and gaming depicting gruesome body parts and curious fashion choices!

Through developing a programme of school learning sessions and holiday activities, we have seen significant interest and enthusiasm amongst local families for spending time at the church. Adults have the opportunity to become more involved in the care and use of the building, whilst children are offered a fascinating, fun, and free opportunity to explore their local history.

Some participant families have recently moved to the area, on the outskirts of Milton Keynes, and almost all parents and children had never been inside the church, situated just moments from their home. A high proportion of those who visited were unaware that St Lawrence’s and its surrounding historic village even existed.

It has been an absolute thrill to connect new families with the church and the local and loyal network of people who have cared for St Lawrence’s for decades. We want to continue to bring people of all ages together in Broughton, and urge you, if you feel able, to support our Annual Appeal to enable CCT to continue to undertake similar work across England to help keep historic churches at the heart of communities, always

Find out more: 2022 Annual Appeal: At the Heart of Communities. Always. 

Image credit: Andy Marshall