Section C. Church buildings

C8. Sources of funding for churches (repair and development)

Knightwick Chapel

All Churches Trust


The object of the All Churches Trust is to promote the Christian religion. The majority of the Trust’s donations are used to support the dioceses and cathedrals of the Church of England. 

But the Trust has a general fund which responds to requests for financial assistance from Anglican churches, churches of other denominations and the Christian community. It supports appeals from churches for building and restoration projects, repair of church fabric, church community initiatives, religious charities, charities preserving the UK heritage and other charitable causes. 

Grants are made out of income derived from the Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc.

National Churches Trust


The Trust offers the opportunity to apply for a limited number of grants towards structural repair projects. It is likely that the Trust will concentrate on projects involving urgent repairs to roof and rainwater goods with estimated costs of at least £50,000 (including VAT and fees).

The Trust also offers a number of grants from £5,000 to £25,000 available towards installing facilities such as toilets and catering facilities to benefit your place of worship and local community; heating and lighting projects will not qualify.

Church Care


This very useful Church of England website has sections on caring for your church building, your church’s contents and your church yard; it also has a section on developing church buildings. 

The Cathedral and Church Buildings Division of the CofE administers a number of grants schemes. These support PCCs, Chapters and Friends groups in the conservation of churches, cathedrals and their historic contents. 

You can apply for grants for fabric repairs and historic furnishings and artworks. The website has some very useful information on how to go about fundraising.

The Architectural Heritage Fund


The Architectural Heritage Fund promotes the conservation of historic buildings in the UK by providing feasibility grants and low interest working capital loans for projects undertaken by building preservation trusts and other charities. 

However, although any charity with a qualifying project is entitled to apply for an options appraisal grant, or a loan, the AHF’s other grants are reserved for buildings preservation trust– charities established specifically to preserve historic buildings. 

Financial assistance is available only for buildings that are listed, scheduled or in a conservation area and of acknowledged historic merit. Projects must involve a change either in the ownership of a property or in its use.

Awards for All


Part of the Big Lottery Fund, Awards for All England is a simple small grants scheme making awards of between £300 and £10,000. It aims to help improve local communities and the lives of people most in need. It funds projects that meet one or more of the following outcomes:

  • People have better chances in life - with better access to training and development to improve their life skills.
  • Stronger communities - with more active citizens working together to tackle their problems.
  • Improved rural and urban environments - which communities are better able to access and enjoy.
  • Healthier and more active people and communities.

It is best to consider this fund for equipment to support community use, unless you have a stand-alone element of a project that comes to less the £10K. 

The Church and Community Fund


The Church and Community Fund (CCF) encourages the church to engage with the local community by funding effective and innovative community outreach projects. It awards grants to community projects run by local Anglican Churches in England that better equip the church to connect with their neighbourhood and beyond. 

Types of projects supported included the salary costs for youth, children’s and community workers, the running costs for homeless centres, conversion of church buildings to enable use by the wider community, funding towards street outreach and many more socially engaging initiatives. 

Interested parishes have to complete a postcode checker to see if they are eligible. 

Church Urban Fund


Church Urban Fund is a Christian organisation supporting faith-based social action in the England’s poorest communities. 

They work with local organisations, developing local solutions to tackle the effects of poverty in order to bring about real transformation and relief. The fund describes itself as a “risk-taking ‘first funder’. 

Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust


The Worcestershire and Dudley Historic Churches Trust was formed in the 1990s to provide financial help with repairs to churches of all denominations in Worcestershire and parts of the Black Country in the Diocese of Worcester by encouraging wider interest in them and raising funds for these purposes. 

The Trust is supported entirely by voluntary subscriptions, donations and legacies, and the more money it receives, the more help it can give. Contact: The Secretary, John Davies, W&DHCT, Yarringtons, Alfrick, Worcester, WR6 5EX Tel: 01886 884336 or email flora.donald@virgin.net

Sainsbury Family Trusts

NB An application to one trust is considered an application to all. The Trust administrators will decide which trust to forward applications to.

The Headley Trust


The Headley Trust is one of the Sainsbury family’s charitable trusts. Amongst other things it supports:Repair work to the fabric of Anglican cathedrals and large ecclesiastical buildings of exceptional architectural merit. Fabric repair of medieval parish churches in sparsely populated and less prosperous villages. 

Individual grant to churches appear to be small. In 2008, under its “Parish Churches Programme”, the Trust gave away £165,500 to a total of 57 churches making an average grant worth £2,904.

The Jerusalem Trust


The Jerusalem Trust objects are to advance the Christian religion and to promote Christian organisations and the charitable purposes and institutions they support; To advance Christian education and learning.

The Jill Franklin Trust


The Jill Franklin Trust makes small grants (typically £500 - £1,000) towards the “restoration” not ‘improvement’ [i.e. towards re-instating an historic feature or improving the condition of an existing historic feature] of churches of architectural importance (it stipulates that the church should have a half page entry in Pevsner’s Buildings of England series)”. It also stipulates that the church should be open to visitors every day”.

The Pilgrim Trust


The Pilgrim Trust exists to preserve the heritage of the UK. However it does not fund directly projects seeking to develop new facilities within a church or the re-ordering of churches or places of worship for wider community use; it makes annual block grants to the organisations such as the Church Buildings Council, the National Churches Trust who do fund this type work. 

It will fund the conservation of important historic artefacts for example, wall paintings. The trust favours projects where they believe it is difficult to raise funds from other sources and it wishes to see access or knowledge increased as a result of its funding. The trust has a small grants fund which is reserved for requests of £5,000 or less. 

Applications to this fund normally require less detailed assessment (though a visit or meeting may be required) but applicants should include the names of two referees from organisations with whom they work.

Tudor Trust


The trust was founded in 1955 by Sir Godfrey Mitchell who endowed it with shares in the Wimpey construction company (making this one of the extraordinary number of major trusts with their origins in the building industry). It funds a range of both capital and revenue needs notably including related building costs, for voluntary and community groups. Grants can be of all sizes, very often to be paid over a period of two or three years. There is no maximum or minimum grant amount.

Cadbury Family Trusts


The William Adlington Cadbury Charitable Trust funds the conservation of the environment, including the preservation of listed buildings and monuments, in Birmingham and the West Midlands. It may also fund some social projects based in churches.


Award grants from £500 - £5,000. Average grant size shown for awards to Churches is £2,500 under the heading of conservation and environment. 

The trust is interested in funding: Arts and Culture: Community Projects and Integration: Compassionate Support (the relief of those in need by reason of Youth, Age, Ill-health, Disability, Financial Hardship or other disadvantage): Conservation and Environment: Interfaith and Multi faith Relations: Education and Training

The Wolfson Foundation


Within a very much broader range of charitable interests the Foundation has a dedicated programme in support of Anglican churches. Eligible churches must be listed (Grade I or Grade II*) and pre-date 1850, and grants are made toward the conservation of the historic fabric. Specific exclusions include work to bells and organs as well as the provision of heating or other modern facilities. 

The programme is administered by the Church Buildings Council on behalf of the Foundation and enquiries should be sent directly to the Council at the following address: The Conservation Officer, The Church Buildings Council, Church House, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3AZ.

Esmee Fairbairn Trust


One of the largest independent grant-making foundations in the UK, the Esmee Fairbairn Trust has a wide range of interests and is particularly supportive of heritage and the arts, community development, education and environmental causes. 

The Garfield Weston Foundation


The Garfield Weston Foundation is among the largest charitable institutions in the country. It gives help to small local communities and major national organisations; it is prepared to consider applications covering a wide range of charitable activity. 

Recent funding has supported projects in the following categories: Arts, Community, Education, Welfare, Medical, Religion, Youth and Environment. It has been a generous friend to churches.

The Alan Evans Memorial Trust

The Alan Evans Memorial Trust will consider giving grants to promote the permanent preservation for the benefit of the nation of lands and tenements (including buildings) of beauty or historic interest and as regards land, the preservation (so far as practicable) of the natural features and animal and plant life. It does not give grants for the installation of modern facilities. The Alan Evans Memorial Trust, c/o Lemon & Co. 34 Regent Street, Swindon, SN1 1PY.

The Bishop Radford Trust

The trust was set up in 2006 to help “promote the work of the Christian church in a manner consistent with the doctrines and principles of the Church of England”. It will fund church -building related projects including renovation, construction and maintenance. Contact: The Secretary, Devonshire House, 1 Devonshire St, London, W1 5DR.

The Fisherbeck Charitable Trust

This trust was registered with the Charity Commission in December 2004, and it is the vehicle for the charitable activities of the Cheal family, owners of Roffey Homes developers. 

The charity's objects are to encourage charitable giving from the extended Cheal family and to apply these funds to the making of grants for the charitable objects including "the advancement of the Christian religion" and "to encourage conservation of the environment and the preservation of our heritage". Contact: ian@roffeyhomes.com tel. 01903 241027.

The G C GIBSON Trust

The G C GIBSON Trust makes grants in a number of categories, one of which is "Religion". Under this heading, the Trust will consider giving grants for the preservation of religious buildings of historic or architectural interest. Karen Griffin, G C Gibson Trust c/o Deloitte & Touche, Blenheim House, Fitzalan Court, Newport Road, Cardiff, CF24 0TS. Tel. 029 2048 1111.

The Holbeck Trust

The trust was established by a gift from G C Horsfield, The objects of the trust include: the advancement of the Christian religion and the preservation of buildings or sites of historic or architectural importance. Contact the Trustees: c /o Rollits, Rowntree Wharf, Navigation Road, York, YO1 9WE.

The Idlewild Trust

The Idlewild Trust is a grant making trust that supports registered charities concerned with the advancement of education, the encouragement of the performing and fine arts and the preservation for the benefit of the public of lands, buildings and other objects of beauty or historic interest in the United Kingdom. 

Contact: Rachel Oglethorpe, Trusts Manager, The Idlewild Trust, 1a Taylors Yard, 67 Alderbrook Road, London, SW12 8AD. Tel. 020 8772 3155 (Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday only).

The Owen Family Trust 

Grants are available for the preservation of Christian and secular historic buildings in West Midlands and North Wales. David Owen, The Owen Family Trust, Mill Dam House, Mill Lane, Aldridge, Walsall, WS9 0NB. Tel. 0121 353 1221.

The Veneziana Fund

The Veneziana Fund receives funds from the sale of the Pizza Veneziana at restaurants belonging to the Pizza Express Group. Created in response to the disastrous flooding in Venice in November 1966, the fund was created by a small supplement on the price of each Pizza Veneziana sold. 

The monies raised were sent to The Venice in Peril Fund. Now the supplement is distributed to the Veneziana Fund which gives 50% of its net receipts to The Venice in Peril Fund, the other 50% being available within the UK for grants for the preservation, restoration, repair and maintenance of:

  • buildings originally constructed before 1750;
  • the fixtures and fittings of such buildings constructed/fitted before 1750; and/or
  • works of art made before 1750 (including the purchase of such items).

The Trustees do not consider appeals until at least two thirds of the sum required has been raised from other sources. The Trust Administrator, The Veneziana Fund, White Horse Court, 25C North Street, Bishop's Stortford, Herts. CM23 2LD.

February 2014