Maintaining and preserving Wymondham Abbey

Wymondham Abbey is one of East Anglia’s finest ecclesiastical buildings. It has a fascinating history stretching back to its foundation in 1107 as a Benedictine Priory. It was later converted to an independent monastery. Most of the monastery buildings have fallen into ruin since Henry VIII’s dissolution in 1538.  What remains is the magnificent parish church, complete with its famous and distinctive twin towers.
For over 900 years, the Abbey has been a spiritual centre, focusing people’s prayers and formalising their rites of passage. As the Anglican parish church of Wymondham, there is a regular round of worship and other services. In addition, the Abbey lies at the heart of the local community and is welcoming and accessible to everyone. The Trust’s role is to ensure that the building continues to serve the people of Wymondham well into the future.

50 years of the Trust

The Wymondham Abbey Preservation Trust was set up by Deed in 1965. Its aim was to relieve the Parochial Church Council (PCC) of the onerous task of regular fund raising normally required for structural repairs to any historic church.
The Capital Fund has built up from generous bequests and donations, as well as profit on the sale of investments within the portfolio. The fund is invested to maintain a balance between capital growth and income. Our investments are managed on our behalf by professional fund managers who meet regularly with the Trustees to ensure that our aims and requirements are being met. Apart from major works, the policy laid down at the inaugural meeting of the trustees is that expenditure will generally be made from income. The fund has been managed on this basis throughout and it has proved a very practical discipline.

Work undertaken

During the past 50 years or so, the Trust has been able to fund necessary work on the church at a cost of well in excess of £1,100,000.
Examples of work undertaken include:
Major repairs to the west tower
Releading south aisle roof
Many fairly minor repair and maintenance tasks that, if left, could develop into more serious issues.
Since 1994, the Trust has been paying the Abbey’s insurance premiums; this alone totals nearly a quarter of a million pounds.
New heating system
Releading and repair to south clerestory and north aisle windows
Most recently, the Trust gave a substantial sum as part of a Heritage Lottery Funded development project that has added new multi-use spaces, modern amenities, historical interpretation and learning resources.

More information

If you are considering a donation or gift to the Preservation Trust and have any queries or wish to have an informal chat, please get in touch.