Whitchurch United Charities

(Registered Charity No. 264826 of 22.7.1907)

What is it?
Who is eligible?
Find out more ...

The current scheme

Since 1st June 2003, the Trustees of the Whitchurch United Charities have been managing the distribution of the income from the Charity in the form of grants.

The purpose is to assist local students with the funding of essential equipment, such as musical instruments and books, or any other cost associated with an educational need.

Eligible students are young people from primary school age up to 25 years old and whose permanent residence is within the ecclesiastical parish of Whitchurch.

At present, the total income is approximately £600 p.a. The accounts are vetted by the Charity Commission, and audited annually, with inspection available on request.

In the past few years, the Charity is fortunate to have received two additional bequests, namely the Lady Phoebe Rose Educational Charity and the Peter Minton Educational Bequest.

It is hoped that in future years, as the scheme becomes known, today’s parishioners will leave legacies or gifts to increase our capital and consequently to make more income available for distribution.

To find out more

There is a Grant Application Form with accompanying Notes for Guidance. The Notes set out the full rules of eligibility including residential requirements and they explain how applications are handled. 

They are processed twice a year, with the closing dates being 31st March and 30th September. However, late applications are considered if the available funds for the previous 6 month period have not been fully allocated.

All applications and decisions are treated in strict confidence by the Trustees. To see the charity’s Privacy Notice please click here. To see the Safeguarding Policy please click here.

If you would like an application form and notes, please either:-

email at whitchurchunitedcharities@gmail.com

or  phone Sarah Dixon on 0118 984 4262 or write to her at:-

The Grant Application Secretary
Whitchurch United Charities
Mrs Sarah Dixon
Flint House
Hardwick Road
Reading RG8 7HH

The Trustees  (from October 2022)

Ken Baker
John Bradon (Secretary)
Sarah Dixon (Grant Application Secretary)
Sarah Dragonetti (Safeguarding Officer)
Katherine Higley (Publicity Officer)
Rev James Leach
Nick Leadbeater-Hart (Treasurer)
Katharine Martin
Paul Witcher
Sally Woolhouse (Chairman)


Over the centuries, residents have founded charities under the authority of the Rector and church with various local objects in mind. The earliest was Augustine Knapp's legacy of 1602. He left one pound (say £400 today) to be invested for the 'poor lame blind or impotent parishioners' to be distributed at the discretion of the Churchwardens.

The administration of these by the Rector and Churchwardens was time-consuming and difficult, and in 1907 they were combined and a registered charity created under the authority of the Charity Commissioners, who invest the proceeds and pay the interest to the Trustees.

Over the centuries, the funds have provided coal, winter coats and food vouchers amongst other benefits.  However, for some while the trustees have felt that with today’s welfare activities, there could be a better use of the funds.

After considerable debate, the Charity Commission was petitioned to agree a scheme whereby grants could be made to assist local students. This was agreed by the Commission in Spring 2003.