As I write this, my thoughts are with the Countess of Darnley whose husband Adam died suddenly over the weekend. The Earl of Darnley gave much of his time over the last two decades to the Herefordshire Historic Churches Trust, despite his involvement in many other charities. Many of you will be aware that he was a Trustee and then our Chairman. It was only just over a couple of years ago that ill health finally forced him to retire from that post.
Adam was a dedicated, generous and much-respected Chairman. He put great energy into his work with the Trust ensuring that its income was fairly distributed to the many churches in the Diocese in need of financial support. He was a good listener to the many strong and sometimes diverse views of the other Trustees. He was always able, quietly and efficiently, to draw together these views and come forward with equitable solutions thereby ensuring the efficient governance of the Charity.
Under his leadership the Trust moved forward with many innovations such as the introduction of ‘Cornerstone’ grants to Churches with special and urgent needs, as well as new initiatives such as the very popular Music in Quiet Places (MiQP) series of concerts of which he was a Patron. ‘
I was fortunate to see him a few days ago. I told him about the next proposed series of MiQP in which we have booked Academia Musica choir, Chetham’s Music School for a Bernstein Centenary concert in the presence of Nina Bernstein, Semitoned the Exeter University ‘Gareth Malone’ choir of the year last year and the Brentnor piano trio as well as amateur choirs in a season of seven concerts around the county. As our patron he was pleased to see us going from strength to strength.
Adam never missed a meeting of the Executive Committee during his term of office and his quiet and friendly manner was always welcome at the many social and fundraising events which were held. The Trustees and members of the Trust will sorely miss his wise council and encyclopaedic knowledge of churches and his friendship, which was valued by so many.
It is difficult to express in a few words what he meant to the Trust and what it meant to him. It was a cause very close to his heart.