Norton Charity was set up ...
“by a decree of Commissioners of charitable uses, bearing the date the 15th January in the 6th year of King Charles 1, to the amending and repairing the church bells and clock of Norton, and the churchways and bridges there, and the relief of the poor of the parish, and other good and charitable uses, for the benefit of the parishioners of the parish of Norton.”
This was 1631, and it is believed that the charity had been in existence some time before that.
In 1810 the trustees paid £100 for the building of a schoolroom on a piece of land provided by the late Mr Botfield, Lord of the Manor.
In 1827 there were 12 houses and 6 acres of land. There are now only 6 of these houses left, which are Grade 2 listed, on Daventry Road, and can be recognized by their distinctive window frames. These cottages were never built as Alms Houses, but were let at a reasonable rent to provide an income for the charity.
This income is used to maintain the cottages, provide small cash sums for those in need and for the Church. In the original document the church could use the money for repairing the “church, bells, and clock of Norton, and the churchways and bridges there” On subsequent documents a very important comma was left out, the one between church and bells, so now money may only be spent on the church bells and not the church and the bells. In other words the charity couldn't help if the tower collapsed as long as the bells and clock were O.K.
In times past coal was given to pensioners each year, but as central heating replaced open fires, a sum of money was given to all pensioners each Christmas. This was stopped a few years ago as it was pointed out that the money could only be given to those persons who were “needy”.
Now the Trustees award grants to those people who they hear have a need or have applied directly to the charity. These grants can be for bus fares, books, a wheelchair, hospital visiting costs, sometimes these things cannot be paid for in full, but the Trustees may be able to help in a small way.
If you or someone you know could benefit from a grant from the Charity please contact the Secretary. The only conditions are that you live in Norton Parish, and you have a need.
Secretary: Jean Thompson. Greystones, Daventry Road, Norton, tel. 01327 702877
or if preferred
Rev'd Sue Kipling, The Rectory, Main Street, Great Brington, NN7 4BJ tel:01604 770402