The Purleigh Education Foundation

Providing Grants for Education in the Parish.


The Purleigh Educational Foundation is a charity created in 1938 by the amalgamation of four nineteenth-century educational charities which, since state-provided education came into existence, had ceased to have any purpose.

The charity has five trustees consisting of the rector and two members of the Parochial Church Council (as the original charities were religiously based), one member appointed by the Parish Council, and one member appointed by the County Council as the education authority. The trustees usually meet once a year.

The purpose of the charity is, as its name suggests, to provide education for the residents of Purleigh which, under the terms of the governing document, can be quite broad and wide-ranging. For example, money can be spent on providing premises for a Sunday school, for evening classes, for physical education (by means of a gymnasium), and for a library or reading room. Pupils can also be assisted in physically attending schools etc. by paying their fees or other incidental expenses, and can be provided with a maintenance allowance if the trustees deem it to be necessary.

The charity’s income is derived from shares in the Charity Commission’s Investment Fund; from an annual payment from Oriel College in Oxford from one of its investments in which Purleigh has a financial interest; and from a very small amount of interest on a National Savings account. Depending on how well the shares have performed, and how diligent Oriel are at paying their dues annually, the charity’s annual income can vary, but in recent years has been in the region of £300-£400.

In general, the trustees have usually allocated money towards the cost of providing Sunday schools in the church; to Purleigh Primary School for the purchase of books; and as grants (usually as book tokens) to students attending university or embarking on an apprenticeship. In 2023, with Sunday school activities currently paused, we were pleased to be able to help Half Pint Nursery School with its general expenses. The trustees are however always keen to hear from anyone with an educational need, especially those attending university or embarking on an apprenticeship, and can be contacted via the secretary, Mrs Sue Owen, Purleigh Hall Lodge, The Street, Purleigh, Chelmsford, Essex, CM3 6QJ.