The Glastonbury Trust
The origins of the charity go back to 1978, when a Dutch couple, Willem Koppejan and Helene Koppejan, bought retail properties at the foot of Glastonbury High Street, which they converted into a complex of shops and function rooms called The Glastonbury Experience. The shops had an 'arts and crafts' focus originally, although over the years this was to change, reflecting Glastonbury's development as a centre for contemporary spirituality. Willem, sadly, was to die before the couple's dreams were fully realised.
The Glastonbury Experience operated at a loss for several years, much of which was paid for from Helene's private funds. In 1987, Helene met Barry Taylor, a management and financial consultant with a strong interest in spirituality. Barry put in place a management plan that turned the business around.
Glastonbury Courtyard Ltd was formed in 1994 to own and manage The Glastonbury Experience with the shares owned equally by Barry and Helene. In 1992 Barry and Helene set up a charity, The Glastonbury Trust, whose objects were to benefit the public through the advancement of religion and education. In 1997, Barry and Helene made an agreement that in the event of either of their deaths, Glastonbury Courtyard Ltd and the ownership of The Glastonbury Experience would pass to the new charity.
They stated in the agreement that The Glastonbury Trust should pursue a policy of offering help, guidance, teaching, training and healing on all aspects of spiritual growth and ecological awareness. As part of the work, The Isle of Avalon Foundation, The Glastonbury Goddess Temple and The Library of Avalon were established within The Glastonbury Experience. All three organisations continue to this day and receive support from the Glastonbury Trust in the form of rent rebates.
Helene died in February 1998 and The Glastonbury Experience passed into the ownership of The Glastonbury Trust. The present incorporated charity, The Glastonbury Trust Ltd was registered in 1999 to receive all the assets of The Glastonbury Trust. Over the years the charity has funded both ecological and spiritually oriented projects in the Glastonbury area, including sustainable housing, organic horticulture and spiritual development.
Since 2004, trustees have adopted a policy of supporting spirituality and emotional well-being within schools. This has been achieved by the promotion of basic 'spiritual practice' in the classroom in the form of time for reflection, stilling, meditation, breathing and relaxation exercises. We have a particular emphasis on promoting outdoor curriculum activities as a source of spiritual, physical and emotional well-being.
In 2009 the Charity Commission approved an expansion of the Trust's objects to include the Promotion of Citizenship and Environmental Protection. This reflects the original desire of the founders to promote community cohesion, and projects that advance sustainable lifeways.
Our present Trustess are:
- Mike Jones (local publisher)
- Gareth Mills (local businessman)
- Brian Charlton (local bed & breakfast owner)
Source Glastobury Trust Web Site - [The Glastonbury Trust] 14.05.2015
Return to the Organisations and Centres page.