The History of the Trust
In past centuries, before the days of state benefits, the Church would have provided help for the poor and needy in the parish, with St James as the parish church.
Over the years, as the woollen industry flourished, the prosperous merchants gave money to enable the church to provide for the poor. This help came mostly in the form of bread, blankets and coal.
In later years, the amount of money available for distribution was very small but bread and fuel tokens were issued annually.
The situation changed dramatically in 1994 when a developer offered to buy land owned by one of the trusts. The eventual sale of this land resulted in a substantial sum being available for investment.
The following four charities were amalgamated in 1996, with the permission of the Charities Commissioners, to form the St. James Trust:
The Robert Pinchin Charity
The Maria Waldron Charity
The Richard Bissie Charity
The John Clark Charity
In 2001, a scheme was put in place to broaden the scope of the trust. There are now seven trustees with nominations from the Town Council and the Parochial Church Council. The area covered has been enlarged to include nearby villages.
Photo: History of the Trust Memorial in St James Church, Trowbridge