The Friends


Charity No. 1069008

The Friends were established to help the Parochial Church Council (the PCC ) with the maintenance of the fabric of Holy Trinity Church. For as little as £10 per year, you can become a Friend and help us with our work year in and year out to preserve this ancient and magnificent church for generations to come.



We can look back to the 1950’s when a group, calling themselves the Friends of the Churchwas formed to raise funds to repair the roof which had been very badly damaged by death watch beetle. When they had raised the necessary funds, they are said to have gone into abeyance but, over the years, we have re-appeared and have existed in many forms until 1998 when we registered as an independent Charitable Trust.


The Clopton Family Connection

John Clopton of Kentwell Hall was the principal benefactor and driving force behind the re-building of Holy Trinity Church from around 1480. He and other distinguished figures are depicted in the magnificent and unique stained glass windows

The Clopton family appeared to have died out in England by the 17th Century but a Clopton was among the earliest settlers in Virginia , USA . In 1984, a descendant, Mr Gene Clopton, discovered his roots and formed the Clopton Family Association which has held a reunion in Long Melford every 6th year since then.


Flowers in  the Clopton Chantry chapel remembering Louise Miller Clopton and her husband William B. Clopton in the week of the 20thSeptember 2017. 

The Friends of Long Melford Church Building Trust are the custodians of two very generous Trusts which were set up by the late William B. Clopton of Richmond , Virginia . The first for the preservation of the ancient glass and the second for the maintenance of the fabric of the Clopton Chantry Chapel.




Since 1998, the Friends have raised and given the PCC over £150,000 towards the costs of maintaining the fabric of Holy Trinity Church. 

While the biggest and most significant achievement in recent years has been the completion of the Millennium (or West End ) project including a small kitchen, lavatory for elderly or disabled visitors, and an upstairs meeting room with its magnificent glass screens to reduce the cold draft from the tower, the Friends have been pleased to pay for:

  • The experimental work carried out by the Canterbury Glass Studio at Canterbury Cathedral to determine what should be done to restore, conserve and protect this famous collection of medieval glass;
  • Work on the Clopton Chantry Chapel to remove the sill or step in front of the altar and to improve the heating to provide comfort in the cold winter months and to protect the ancient fabric;
  • Work to clean and restore the North Turret or 'Singing Tower' (see photo below);
  • Work to repair and replace damaged masonry which had fallen from the window sill in the Sanctuary;
  • The refurbishment of both the Priest's and Choir vestries; 
  • Lighting to improve the access and safety of the two footpaths leading to the South Porch (the main entrance); and 
  • The restoration of the gratings in front of the North Door. 


Current projects

The recent repair of cracked and broken masonry in the clerestory. Work on-going. 


Application form

Please click here


Contact us


Hon. Secretary & Charity Commission

Mr Richard Michette, 7 Clopton Drive, Long Melford, Suffolk CO10 9LJ.

Telephone: + 44 (0)1787 377164, Email:



Mr Vincent Chandler ACA FCCA 




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