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 if you are unsure whether the work proposed will qualify for a grant.


Applications are considered by the Grants Committee, which meets four times a year. Before starting your application it is always helpful to discuss it with the Secretary. 

Meetings in 2024

Deadline for completed applications

18 March

2 February

10 June

19 April

9 September

26 July

4 November

20 September


In exceptional circumstances (e.g. storm damage) it may be possible to consider an emergency application between meetings. Please speak to the Secretary in the first instance. 

The form should be downloaded, completed, and submitted in hard copy together with any relevant documents to the Secretary of the Grants Committee at the address given on the form. Please be sure to include a contact phone number for someone who is able, if necessary, to discuss the application and the proposed work.

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.

 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 Benefact Trust (formerly Allchurches Trust), the Congregational and General Charitable Trust, the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Headley Trust and the Sabina Sutherland Charitable Trust. Grants may also be available from local charities such as the Essex Heritage Trust and FSJ Charities.  In addition the Essex Community Foundation administers some funds (such as the Bartleet Family Fund) whose interests include heritage and historic buildings. Parishes in certain parts of the county may 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 more

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