Section C. Church buildings

C10. Loans from Worcester Diocesan Sites and Buildings Fund

Registered Charity, No: 11028759

1. The Fund is the responsibility of the Diocesan Trustees, and the administration is undertaken by the Diocesan Secretary.Loan applications will be considered from PCCs to provide cashflow where the PCC cannot fund work from reserves while:

  • Fundraising is completed, particularly on urgent repairs and/or
  • Grant payments are received

to help meet the cost of repairs and alterations to the fabric of their churches.

2. Repairs are defined as the major items of maintenance of the structure of the fabric of the building. The term includes heating, lighting and decoration.It also includes works of repair necessary for the preservation of historic bell frames, the repair or replacement of bells, the maintenance or replacement of pipe or electronic organs provided that they are fixtures rather than loose furniture.

3. Loans will be made over a maximum period of five years.The rate of interest will be subject to review from time to time.The current rates of interest are:-

  • Year 1 - Nil
  • Year 2 - Nil
  • Year 3 - Nil
  • Year 4 - 3%
  • Year 5 - 3%

Repayment of capital and interest will be made at six-monthly intervals.

4. The amount of loan normally will not exceed 50% of the net cost of the work, i.e. having taken account of other grants, loans and money in fabric funds.The maximum loan is usually limited to £20,000. PCCs wishing to apply for more than £20,000 should arrange to discuss the reasons for such application with the Diocesan Secretary and their Archdeacon.

5. Loans will only be made to PCCs (and not District Church Councils as they are not corporate bodies). When a PCC wishes to apply for a loan it should formally approve the application (which should be minuted) along the lines of, “The PCC decided to apply to the Worcester Diocesan Sites & Building Fund for a loan of £[amount] for a period of [X] years towards the funding of [describe the project, e.g. to replace the church boiler / roof repairs / etc] [at a rate of interest of 3% per annum in the fourth and fifth year of the loan] and, if the application is successful accordingly, authorised the chair of the meeting and two other members to sign a loan agreement between the PCC and the Worcester Diocesan Sites & Building Fund.”

5. Applications for a loan are to be made on a prescribed form. There is one form for short term loans  (e.g to cover cashflow while awaiting grant or LPWGS payments) and another for longer term loans  of up to five years. Work should not be put in hand before the loan has been approved by the Diocesan Trustees.

6. The Diocesan Trustees meet quarterly usually in the first half of March, July, September and December each year, so applications should be made by the end of the third week of the preceding month.

7. Loans will only usually be made to PCCs which are up to date with their Parish Share payments to the Worcester Diocesan Board of Finance Limited.Exceptionally, applications will be considered where a PCC with Parish Share shortfalls can show how by the end of the loan period that it will be repaid and also there is a plan that Parish Share will be fully paid.

8. When considering applications the Trustees will be guided by the following criteria:-

(a) The Pastoral needs of the parish and deanery.If a loan is requested for the repair of a church which does not appear to be a satisfactory building in view of the current mission and pastoral needs of the parish and deanery the Trustees may refer the matter to the Diocesan Mission, Pastoral and Resources Committee for advice.

(b) Priority for loans will be given to those parishes whose church is unable or unlikely to receive significant help from the Heritage Lottery Fund or other grant making bodies, provided the mission and pastoral needs are clear.

9. Information about grants and fundraising is available in Papers C8 and C9.

10. If a loan application is approved by the Trustees:

  • a) the PCC should be in touch with the Diocesan Secretary about a month before the money is needed. The Diocesan Secretary will arrange for a loan agreement to be sent to the PCC for completion
  • b) the money will be made available on presentation to the Diocesan Secretary of the completed loan agreement and either the PCC’s architect’s first certificate or a builder’s invoice.

October 2018