Accessing emergency funding for your church

Published: 12th June 2020

Church Buildings Officer, Mark Carter offers some advice about sources of emergency funding.

Mark Cater, Church Buildings Officer

Lockdown has stopped our regular activities, affected church incomes and derailed building and repair projects; but it has also presented new opportunities to serve our communities and work in partnership with other organisations. Many church activities are dependent on external funding sources so I give a round-up here of the various emergency grant schemes that are in operation. Note that some are starting to get close to their deadlines so if you have been putting an application off then now is the time to act.


Local Authority Grants

If you have a church hall or a separately operating shop, café or other business you may be eligible to make a claim to your Local Authority for a grant to support lost income during lockdown. The property or business needs to have a rateable value, even though you do not pay business rates. The majority of grants will be for up to £10k based upon the rateable value of the property or business. Several parishes have already made successful applications to this fund but given the complex history of many church property transactions, we are finding that not all halls are registered by the Valuation Office.

National Lottery Community Fund 

The Community Fund continues to dedicate its whole grant-making to activities to fund Covid-19 support in communities. This will include direct community support activities but also adaptations to buildings to make them more robust to support these community activities. Two streams of funds exists: smaller projects under £10k and larger projects over £10k. As ever with this fund, primarily religious activities cannot be supported so applications should be based around community and outreach work.

National Lottery Heritage Fund 

The Heritage Fund is also dedicating its new funding to Covid-19 support. This funding seeks to stabilise organisations and the heritage that they care for. Church buildings that have exceptional heritage or are at risk would have the most likely chance of funding, especially those who have a major reliance on visitor and event income. Again, two streams of funding exists: smaller projects under £50k and larger ones up to £250k. he deadline for applications has recently been extended to 31 July and can now include extra costs incurred in re-opening for visitors (when that is permitted by the Government).


Historic England Heritage At Risk Fund 

Historic England have this week announced a second emergency fund, for urgent repairs to Grade I & Grade II* listed buildings to enable them to safely reopen to the public. Grants of up to £25k for projects up to £30k cost are available.


Police & Crime Commissioner Community Funds 

The West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner has an emergency fund for community groups of up to £5k per grant to support community work.,and%20supports%20people%20having%20to There is a similar scheme in West Mercia but this is only open to Town/Parish Councils.

Trusts & Foundations 

All other funders continue to operate and fund during the crisis but many are adapting their funding strategies to respond to the current situation.

If you wish to explore any of these funding opportunities and want some assistance with developing your project, making your case or completing the application then please do contact me via / 01905 732809.

Page last updated: 19th June 2020 10:06 AM