Grants from all sorts of different organisations can be a blessing when trying to find funds for projects. However, grant providers each have a purpose and aims they want to see achieved; they want to give grants to those who are delivering a project that will meet their aims.
For example, some will give grants towards the upkeep of the building, whether for historical or community purposes, while others will be inspired to help further the mission of your church, and to help grow our faith. Therefore, it is important to read the grant provider’s guide or terms before applying so that you know whether your church qualifies for a particular grant.
If you are looking for funding to pursue a project, below is a list of organisations that may be able to help.
- Church Grants Database
- Church Building Grants
- Community Work and Cost of Living Grants
- Mission and Ministry
- Environmental Projects
- Grant Giving Guides
- Tips for Writing a Proposal
Church Grants Database
Church Grants is an online search engine specifically for churches and Christian organisations. The site contains a searchable database of hundreds of UK trusts and foundations.
We have a subscription that allows all parishes in the Salisbury Diocese to access this information for free (currently until June 2024).
You will need to know your church code number – which you can find on both A Church Near You and on the Parish Giving Scheme website.
Church Building Grants
When starting a project of any kind, I would encourage you to make a plan for raising the funds. Knowing where you think the funds will come from, makes your ask to others stronger – and could influence the grant amount you receive.
There are several funders who are ready to accept applications for church building projects, although their criteria will differ, and some will expect you to have some funds in place - or pledged - already. This can seem off-putting, but actually it can help pave the way for an ask to individual donors to pledge an amount in writing, that will enable you to apply for a grant. It can also act like a target for community fundraising events.
Do take a look at this Income Plan from Garfield Weston Foundation, as an example of best practice.
The Giving Advisor is here to help, and would encourage a conversation as early as possible in the planning process.
This list of funders is not exhaustive, but it is a good starting point.
- Wiltshire and Dorset Historic Churches Trusts
- Erskine Muton Trust Fund (Dorset churches only)
- National Churches Trust (50% required)
- Benefact Trust (30% required)
- Garfield Weston Foundation (50% required)
- Laing Family Trusts
- Henry Smith Charity
- Bernard Sunley Foundation
- Church Care grants
- Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (to reclaim VAT)
- Heritage Fund from the National Lottery
Crossing the Threshold Toolkit
The Diocese of Hereford has created a detailed resource for anyone looking to manage a church buildings project. At 268 pages, it is a detailed and thorough step-by-step guide covering everything from articulating your vision, raising funds, cash flow and managing a successful build.
There are other funders with specific interests in the repair, replacement or restoration of eg church bells, monuments, clocks etc. Please check the Diocesan Grants Guide and the National Church Grants Guide – both are currently being updated, but are still useful.
Community Work and Cost of Living Grants
Sometimes the work we carry out in our communities can be attractive to funders, if we are delivering social support that is open to all. This can also include work that we are delivering in partnership with other third sector organisations. Projects might include foodbanks, debt advice, discounted or free community spaces, cafes and clubs that reduce isolation and anxiety, providing friendship groups and warm spaces.
Some offer grants for running costs over a three-year period, and may be enough to get your project to a position where it is self-sustaining.
- VCSE Energy Efficiency grants for community buildings
- National Lottery Community Fund
- Garfield Weston Foundation (50% required)
- Henry Smith Charity
- Asda Foundation Grants
- The Plunkett Foundation
- New - Community Impact Grants | Benefact Trust
- ACRE £5k capital grants for village halls
Webinar: The Plunkett Foundation
The Plunkett Foundation offers advice to churches looking to use space for a community projects, particularly if your aim is income generation or providing services to directly benefit the community, such as village shops, cafes and local services. Watch its webinar to find out more (Passcode: w&08FgS=)
Mission and Ministry
The following funds provide grants to help churches to fund mission initiatives, or welfare grants to support individuals in need, including members of the clergy.
- Aldhelm Mission Fund
- Salisbury Diocese Forces Welfare Fund
- Salisbury Diocesan Social Welfare Fund Application Form
- St Mary's Fund Application Form
- St Mary's Fund Guidance
- Helping Anglican clergy and their families in times of need | Clergy Support Trust
Low Carbon Dorset - Low Carbon Dorset - Helping reduce Dorset's footprint
Benefact Trust offer grants for church building improvement projects for: Energy efficiency/renewable energy measures (e.g. heating/lighting upgrades, solar panels, etc) which improve the sustainability of church buildings/facilities and enable their continued use.
You can search the Church Grants database: Login using your Church Code (from ACNY) and search on County and Environment.
- Groundworks are distributing Government funds for Community Halls and Hubs - but they must be delivering frontline services eg cafe, foodbank, post office, village shop. ONLY AVAILABLE 2024. Apply early; it will be oversubscribed. - NEWS: Free Independent Energy Assessments for VCSEs - Groundwork
- Biffa support Community Buildings: village halls, community centres and church halls. Funding includes building refurbishments and internal works to kitchens, toilets, roofs, flooring, window, doors and heating systems - Community Buildings - Biffa Award (biffa-award.org) (Funding Maps for Dorset (docx) and Wiltshire (docx) areas)
Grant Giving Guides
Every few years National Church produces a guide to the main church funders. To complement this, the Salisbury Diocesan Funding Guide aims to include regional funders that may support church projects across Dorset and Wiltshire. Neither is an exhaustive list, and they are liable to change. If you spot any errors, please notify the Giving Team.
- Salisbury Diocese Grant Giving Guide
- National Church Grant Giving Guide
- Environmental Grant Giving Guide.
- Church Clock Guide (from Smith&Derby)
Contact the Giving Team
If you have a question about the online faculty process:
Secretary to the DAC and Church Buildings Team Manager