The Teffont Trust

The Teffont Trust is a remarkable institution, the brainchild of the late Hugh Homan of this village. He identified that with four historic public buildings (two churches, the Village Hall and the Reading Room) there was a potentially endless demand for fundraising to support their maintenance. Such fundraising in dribs and drabs proved to be time-consuming and inefficient. It also risked 'donor fatigue' through repeated calls to the same donors. The solution he proposed was to establish a single trust, the Teffont Trust, and to encourage villagers and friends to make standing donations into it. This was completed in 2007, following a consultation of the whole village, and a major fundraising appeal was carried out in the village with over half the households in the village signing up to an annual standing order. The aim was to put the capital cost (but not the day to day running costs) of the repair and maintenance of our historic community buildings onto a firm financial footing for the foreseeable future.

The buildings in question are the Village Hall, our two 13th century churches and the Reading Room. All are currently in a good state of repair. However repairs are sadly inevitable over time and the potential costs of, for example, replacing a roof or a heating system could be large. The Trustees aim therefore to keep a healthy sum of funds in reserve in order to meet such unexpected potentially large demands.

The Trust operated very successfully in that form between 2007 and 2019; so successfully in fact that it has been emulated by some neighbouring villages. In 2019 it was decided in a further refinement that the John Lush charity could be wrapped into the Teffont Trust in order to reduce the number of charities operating in the village. The result is that the Teffont Trust then took on an expanded role; taking on the objectives of the old John Lush charity, namely the provision of help to the needy. As a consequence, in 2019 the Teffont Trust amended its Objects to provide for the allocation of its funds on a broader basis 'for the good of the village' rather than merely to support the maintenance of the four public buildings in the village. The Trustees aim therefore to keep part of the funds in reserve for meeting any unexpected building-related costs, and then to provide grants from the surplus to meet the needs of the village, great and small.

As set out with the Charity Commision, the Objects of the Teffont Trust are: The restoration, repair, improvement and maintenance of the fabric of the Village Hall, the Reading Room, the churches in Teffont and other charitable purposes beneficial to the Community of Teffont. All villagers are asked to contribute the Teffont Trust, preferably by standing order. We suggest that an annual subscription of £100 is a good start point.

The Trustees of the charity (No 1118718) are mostly representatives of the Parish Council and of the three charities which are responsible for the four buildings. They meet twice a year to review the Trust's affairs and to consider how much of the Trust's funds may be allocated in grants. Applications for grants may be made by anyone and should be addressed in the first instance to the Secretary. Unless especially urgent they will be considered at the following Trustees' meeting.

The Trustees are currently:

  • David Wood (chairman)
  • Charlotte Watts (secretary)
  • Zillah Faulkner (treasurer)
  • Ian Johnson
  • Pat McNamara
  • Don Ridley
  • Andrew Jones

A copy of the leaflet which we have prepared, and of a Gift Aid and standing order form, can be obtained from the Treasurer Zillah Faulkner at The Old Rectory, Teffont (01722 716312).

Read more about the Teffont Trust

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