There is an ancient but still active Charity which specifically benefits the residents of Ogbourne St George. It was first established under an Inclosure Award dated 25th May 1796, when an area of about 20 acres of Bytham Down was allotted to the Lord of the Manor (at that time, the Provost and Scholars of Kings College, Cambridge) to be held for the purpose of raising furze for use as fuel by the inhabitants of the Parish of Ogbourne St George. The custom was that any parishioner could cut and take away as much furze as could be carried, but that no cart could be used to carry back the furze to the village.
Since the Second World War, when the land was requisitioned for agriculture, the Charity’s income has been in the form of rent for the land. The Trustees of the present Charity are now the Lord of the Manor, the Vicar of the Parish, and three Trustees appointed by the Parish Council. For many years the Trustees decided who should have a share in the year’s income of the Charity, and grants were always “for the provision of fuel”. A part of the Charity’s income is still allocated in this way.
Since 2009, and with the approval of the Charity Commission, the objects of the Charity have been broadened to include “the relief of financial hardship of people living in the Parish of Ogbourne St George” instead of being only for fuel. In 2013 the village’s smaller and even older charity, the Wooldridge & Thomegay Charity, was wound up and merged with the larger Charity, providing a small amount of additional income.
Although the funds available are limited, the Trustees welcome nominations and applications for grants which accord with the Charity’s objects. In particular, grants can only be made to people who live in this Parish. Suggestions and applications can be made, in confidence, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by contacting one of the trustees.
The Trustees are currently:
Tim Frost (841361),
The Revd Roger Powell (01793 740369),
Lesley Harvey (841272),
Rachel Inglefield (841999),
Michelle Cook (841543).
For more information about the history and governance of the Charities, the following documents can be found on this website: