In the inter-war years, Gladys Gibbs, the daughter of Sir Thomas and Lady Morel, and the widow of John Angel Gibbs, made charitable donations through Methodist channels. In October 1946, she set up the First Gibbs Charitable Trust, referred to a ‘Settlement’, and thereafter she met regularly with her son, John Morel Gibbs, daughter-in-law, Sheila, and Sheila’s brother Malcolm Newton to distribute investment income from the Settlement.
Further Settlements were made by John and Sheila Gibbs as the Trust’s holdings were augmented by tithing the proceeds from the liquidation of the South Wales shipping company Morel Limited
Gladys Gibbs died in 1952, and the affairs of what came to be known as the Gibbs Trust were handled by John, Sheila and Malcolm until 1970. From that time younger members of the Gibbs family were brought on to the board of trustees.
In the late 1980s, the investment holdings were consolidated into Charities Official Investment Fund (COIF) units held by the CCLA.
John Gibbs died in 1996 and Sheila Gibbs in 2004. The board of the Trust is currently made up of four of their sons, their four daughters-in-law, and four of their grand-children.
The organisation of the Grants in the list on this site reflects the historical importance of denominational giving. But, while there are still categories for Methodist initiatives, close reading of the list indicates that there is an emphasis on support for other areas of endeavour, notably projects overseas.
Other patterns that can be detected from an analysis of recent grant giving indicate that trustees are prepared to promote projects in towns, cities or boroughs where they live. The special interests of trustees, in some cases professional interests, include forestry and the theatre, and evidence of these enthusiasms can be found in the projects selected for support.
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