Wimborne Minster hosts Dorset Historic Churches Trust celebration

DHCTOver 50 Friends of the Dorset Historic Churches Trust attended the Trust’s Autumn meeting at Wimborne Minster recently to celebrate the work of the charity.

The afternoon event began with an organ recital to demonstrate the capabilities of the Minster’s organ, rebuilt in 1865 by J W Walker. By remarkable coincidence, the performance was given by David Bruce-Payne, the renowned Dorset organist who is Walker’s great-grandson, who played a variety of pieces and accompanied a small choir drawn from The Harmonia Singers.

Dorset Historic Churches Trust (DHCT) Trustee, Dr. Tim Connor, then treated guests to a brief overview of the Minster’s history, from its inception as a nunnery c. 705AD to the present day. The official Minster guides also gave the group a more detailed account.

The Friends were invited to take a guided tour of the magnificent building, which included the Minster’s 15th Century astronomical clock, the fascinating structure of the building and the tombs of important historical figures buried there. Friends were also shown the Chained Library, founded in 1686 as one of the first public libraries in the country, which contains early books on gardening, medicine, law, etiquette and building, as well as Walton’s Polyglott Bible of 1657 in nine languages.

Then followed a talk from Sue Smith, an acknowledged expert on church glass, who spoke about the stained glass in the Minster’s extensive windows. To conclude the afternoon, Friends enjoyed afternoon tea together in the Priest’s House Museum.

Simon Pomeroy said: “The Dorset Historic Churches Trust would like to say a big thank you to everyone who attended the afternoon and to the clergy at Wimborne Minster who received us so warmly. The help of the Friends of the Trust is invaluable to the survival of our local churches and we hope to continue to collaborate closely with them on local projects.”

New Friends are always welcome and DHCT encourage anyone interested to collect a Trust leaflet from their local church or visit the Trust’s website: http://www.dhct.org.uk