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Helping Residents of Wraxall & Failand

in times of Hardship and Need

About the Charities

Our charitable aims and objectives are to provide assistance for the purpose of the relief of poverty to individuals residing in the parish of Wraxall & Failand who are in in need. 

The charities began in 1635 when a bequest to the poor of Wraxall by the Marchioness of Northampton was used to purchase land, the rent from which was to be distributed amongst the poor as the churchwardens thought fit. Over the years other bequests were made for benefit of the poor of the parish.  In 1962 these charities were combined and are now administered together by seven trustees, including the Rector of the Parish of Wraxall with Failand

Can I apply for a grant?

We may be able to help you with a grant for a specific purpose if you live in Wraxall or Failand, are suffering hardship and are in need of financial support.

If you work in our community providing support to adults or children you are welcome to download the leaflet and print a many copies as you wish.  When printing remember, in the printer settings to select the option to "bind on short side".  If you do not do this one side of the leaflet will be upside down.

You can dowload the leaflet by clicking "here".

How do I apply?

Contact Wraxall Parochial Charities for an application form

by email:  

or by post:  Wraxall Charities, The Cross Tree Centre, Bristol Road, Wraxall. BS48 1LB.

You can also download the application form by clicking "here".

All applications will be treated in confidence, and should, whenever possible, be made by the individual in need. Your application will be considered as soon as possible.

Examples of assistance that might be granted

  • The cost of purchasing essential household items such as a washing machine.
  • The cost of purchasing essential personal items such as school uniform or shoes.
  • Travelling expenses for medical care or for visiting.
  • The cost of respite or convalescent assistance.
  • The cost of special food or medical aids or equipment.
  • Payment of fees for a course or travelling expenses to assist people

Who can we help?

  • Anybody suffering hardship and in need, including
  • Children and young people
  • Elderly people
  • People with disabilities
  • People suffering misfortune, loss, or major trauma in their lives

How do we help?

We can award grants to pay, or part pay, for items, services or facilities that help alleviate need.  Grants are given for specific purposes. We do not commit to providing long term or regular grants.  We cannot award grants for services that should be provided by the Local Authority or the Government.

What else do we do?

Grants can be given for the general good, for example we recently  replaced playground equipment at Millennium Green at The Grove in Wraxall.  We provide a weekly subsidised mini-bus service to Nailsea, providing assisted transport for shopping or medical visits.  We work with referral agencies such as schools, doctors and Citizens Advice  to help reach those in need.

About our Charity

Sir Thomas Gorges was born in 1536 at Birdcombe Court, one of the oldest and historically important buildings in the parish of Wraxall.  Thomas became an Elizabethan courtier and Groom of the Chamber to Queen Elizabeth I.  While at court he met the recently widowed Helena, Marchioness of Northampton.  

Helena von Snakenborg was born into Swedish nobility.  By all accounts, Helena was a beautiful woman. She was described as having a strong will and independent mind.

Helena died at the age of 86 on 10 April 1635 at Redlynch, and was buried on 14 May in Salisbury Cathedral. It has been claimed that Helena had no fewer than ninety-two direct descendants at the time of her death.

On her death, Helena bequeathed £100 to the poor of Wraxall, with which were purchased the fields called the Fryth, the rent to be distributed amongst the poor on St Thomas’ day as the churchwardens think fit.  The Fryth is in sight of Birdcombe Court.

Over the years there have been a number of notable residents of the parish that have bequeathed money for the poor of the parish, including Henry Mugleworth, of Charlton House, Elizabeth Martindale, Abraham Elton and Thomas Kington.  In 1962 these charities were combined into a single entity under the name of the Marchioness of Northampton.

Our charity has benefited from esteemed benefactors that have helped us to support those in need to the present day.

The Parochial Charities website can be accessed here

Charity Commission Website (where you can annual reports from the Wraxall Parochial Charities)