Apply for a Grant
Grants are awarded to Christian places of worship of all denominations (Anglican, Roman Catholic, United Reformed Church, etc.) and of any age in the historic county of Essex (including the unitary authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock and the five London Boroughs of Barking & Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge and Waltham Forest).
Do we qualify?
Repair Grants are awarded for work to Christian churches and chapels for carrying out repairs to the fabric in order to preserve the buildings for current and future use by worshippers and the wider community.
Improvement Grants are awarded for work to church buildings that will assist with their sustainable long-term use both for worship and for wider community purposes, such as the provision of kitchen and toilet facilities, heating, and disabled access.
Grants are not normally given for:
- routine redecoration
- conservation of furnishings, fittings, organs, monuments, stained glass, bells, and works of art
- liturgical reordering
- new furnishings and fittings (unless as part of a scheme of improvements)
- the repair and construction of free-standing buildings in the grounds of the church, unless the facilities in such buildings make an essential contribution to the use of the church building.
Grants are not given for routine maintenance, although the Trust does make grants to parishes as part of the Gutter Clearance Scheme.
Grants will not normally be made if work has already started.
Please contact the Secretary of the Grants Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure whether the work proposed will qualify for a grant.
Applications are considered by the Grant Committee, which meets four times a year.
The form should be downloaded, completed, scanned and submitted together with any relevant documents to the Secretary of the Grants Committee at email@example.com.
An officer of the church should submit applications; otherwise a letter of support from the incumbent must accompany them. Upon receipt of the application, a member of the Grants Committee will arrange a site visit to discuss the proposed work and its funding.
No grant will be considered without the following:
- a copy of the specification and quotations (where an architect’s estimate only is available, a grant may be offered in principle, subject to an acceptable quotation being provided at a later date);
- photographs (exterior and, if relevant, interior views of the church),
- and others showing areas where the proposed work is to be undertaken;
- a full set of church accounts as presented to the annual church meeting together with any further recent and relevant information; and
- confirmation of necessary approvals, including faculty or other permission.
Roof alarm grants
We also distribute grants on behalf of the Allchurches Trust's Roof Protection Scheme. These grants help churches install roof alarms in response to the issue of metal theft, which continues to be a very challenging issue across the country. The Allchurches Trust have recently extended this scheme until the end of 2021 and increased the amount of funding available, with grants now funding up to 50% of the cost of the alarm, up to a maximum of £2500. Please contact the Secretary of the Grants Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Other grant-making bodies
We expect applicants for grants to make every effort to raise funds from other sources besides the Friends of Essex Churches Trust. National grant-making bodies that support churches include the National Churches Trust, the Allchurches Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, and the Headley Trust. Grants may also be available from local charities such as the Essex Heritage Trust and FSJ Charities. Parishes in certain parts of the county may also be eligible to apply to the Landfill Communities Fund.
Guidance for funding building projects can be found on the websites of the Diocese of Chelmsford and the Church of England. ChurchCare makes grants for historic church interiors and churchyard structures. They no longer administer the Wolfson Foundation Funds for Fabric Repairs of Parish Churches; this has moved to the National Churches Trust.
Apply for a Grant
If you think your project qualifies, please download our application form. You need to complete it and return it, along with any relevant documents to our Grants Secretary.Download Form
Unsure if your Project Qualifies for a Grant?
If you aren’t sure if your project meets the criteria, you can contact the Secretary of our Grants Committee to find out moreEmail Us