The Erskine Muton Trust Fund

The Erskine Muton Trust Fund is part of a wonderful legacy left by Mrs Nadia Muton who, with her late husband, Erskine Muton, retired to west Dorset and bequeathed the great majority of her estate to form the Erskine Muton Trust Fund.

Mrs Muton was born in Russia. Together with her family, she escaped before the 1918-19 Revolution by walking to China! Nadia later spoke of seeing many churches being destroyed and she resolved to leave money for the upkeep of churches. The Erskine Muton Trust Fund formed in 2009.

The Erskine Muton Trust Fund managing trustees (HSBC Trust Company Ltd) asked the Diocese to administer the application process and make recommendations. A Review Committee was established and formed from: the Bishop of Sherborne, the Archdeacons of Sherborne and Dorset, the Diocesan Secretary, the Chair of the DAC and Trust and Property Registration Officer. This committee meets three times a year.

Please contact the Trust and Property Registration Officer (Elizabeth Wallis) if you have any questions.

Click to download the application form. 

The closing dates for the next rounds of grant applications are 1 March, 31 May and 4 October 2024.

Information for Applicants

The Trustees’ priority will be funding repairs, maintenance and development of church buildings open for regular public worship and located within the county boundary of Dorset. The Trustees make grants three times a year. Normally grants are in the range £1,000 - £10,000 and cover a proportion of the total cost of the works. They are paid subject to Faculty or other necessary statutory approval having been obtained. Applicants should have started the online Faculty System (which covers List A, List B and Faculty applications) for the work or project before submitting an application to the Erskine Muton Trust Fund. This can be accessed here. If you have any queries about this online Faculty System, please contact the Church Buildings/DAC.

Criteria for allocation of grants

1. Grants will only be available to churches located in Dorset which are open for regular public worship - a Parish Church, Parish Centre of Worship, Chapel of Ease or licensed building.

2. Most applications will be towards the cost of church building repairs. Grants for churchyards, paths, walls etc will only be given in exceptional circumstances.

3. ‘Out of Committee’ and retrospective applications for work already started will not be considered. The only exception is when the need for major emergency repairs has arisen between meetings.

4. Applications to fund replacement lead roofing will be considered if the work is the result of a second or subsequent theft. Preference will be given when a deterrent security system is being fitted.

5. Applicants may only apply for a further grant for the same project in exceptional circumstances - such as an unexpected and significant rise in costs or the discovery of essential additional works.

6. Funds will not be allocated to projects that could reasonably be funded from PCC reserves. There is an expectation that parishes will have budgeted for routine repairs and maintenance identified during Quinquennial Inspections.

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