The trust was established in 1973 by the late R. H. Stanley of Purley, Surrey, as a tax-efficient way of managing his charitable donations. During Mr Stanley's lifetime, the trust was a small family trust which mainly made grants to Christian organisations.
When Mr and Mrs Stanley passed away in 2000, their estate was left to Hinchley, growing the trust considerably. Hinchley Charitable Trust was reconstituted as a Charitable Company in 2005. It retains close links to the Stanley family, but is now more broadly-based.
The primary focus is still supporting Christian charities, with a particular emphasis on youth work. The trust looks to support activities and initiatives which have the potential to transform communities.