The Abbots Leigh Charities consist of the following:
The Church House Charity, James Addis Charity, John Roach Charity, Lady Norton’s Charities and the Philip John Miles Charity.
The E.J. Swann Benefaction is a more modern charity that spans both parishes of Abbots Leigh and Leigh Woods.
In December 1926 the Trustees of the Abbots Leigh Charities (Frances, Lady Norton, John Roach, James Addis and Philip John Miles) took advantage of the subjoin scheme as the scheme to regulate charities i.e. to join the 4 Charities and appoint a board of trustees to manage the Abbots Leigh charities. This continues to this day. Abbots Leigh Charities produce a report at every Annual Parish Council Meeting.
The Abbots Leigh Charities, (sometimes known as The Lady Norton Charities) were founded by Frances, Lady Norton in the 17th Century. The other local benefactors were subsequently added funds to the Charitable Trusts for the Poor. The other two charities are known as the Apprenticing Charity and the Vicar’s Charity; and all three have been regulated since 1926 by a Charity Commission Scheme; as amended in 1996, on the application by the Trustees at that time.
- The ‘so called’ Charity for the Poor now makes grants generally at Christmas time, to the less well off Pensioners in the Parish, who come to their notice and whom it is believed may be pleased to receive such a grant; for instance towards the cost of fuel, medical aids or hospital visiting expenses. If you know of people in the Parish with such needs, please let us know.
- The ‘so called’ Apprenticing Charity Trusts are now much wider than the title implies. The trustees now make grants to students normally resident in Abbots Leigh towards the expenses of their education and training or the purchase of study books; while other grants may be used for the general support of youth organisations in the village or for adventure outings; or the purchase and maintenance of playground equipment. Examples recently have been to assist young people from the village to travel abroad and spend their vacation helping others in orphanages and the like or to raise money for charity and at the same time providing that young person with a valuable life experience.
- The Vicar’s Charity was originally intended to augment his/her stipend (and requires the preaching of a sermon on mortality in October or November each year) but the small annual income is now generally applied at the Vicar’s discretion for charitable purposes within the Parish.
The Capital Investments of the three Charities are held by the Official Custodian of Charity Funds; and invested in the shares of the Charities Official investment Fund, which is akin to a unit trust; and from which the disposable dividend income is received (free of tax) and paid in to the Charities accounts at the National Westminster Bank.
There are eight Trustees, of which the Vicar (now Priest in Charge) is an ex-officio trustee; three are Representative Trustees nominated by the Parish Council, and four are co-opted.
Proposals or requests for Grants may be made at any time to any of the Trustees, for consideration usually at their spring or autumn meetings.
A hand written notebook provides a history of the Abbots Leigh Charities and was written by Mr William Frampton who according to a Charity Commission document dated 7 December 1926 lived in Church Road and was a Solicitor’s Clerk by profession. Not only was he a long serving trustee of the Abbots Leigh Charities he was an active member of the Abbots Leigh Cricket Club.
To make an application email the Trustees.