Appeals, grants & buildings

There are a number of trusts which may be able to help you with funds for work on your church building or hall. Ask one of your PCC or Committee to put some time aside for researching which of the numerous grant-making bodies might be interested in your project. Our Parish Resources and Development Advisers can help guide you with which trusts might be most likely to support your project.

We produce a Funding Bulletin for parishes and schools, with details of trusts and deadlines relevant to building repairs, community work, young/older people, schools, etc, automatically emailed to those who join our Treasurers’ Learning Network, or you can request the Funding Bulletin only by emailing Sue Whitehead.

We have a number of leaflets and booklets available to download at the bottom of the page which you may find helpful:

  • We Can Do It! – Advice on how to run a major appeal. A useful, practical guide to raising anything from £20,000 to £250,000+.
  • Who Will Help Us? – Beginner’s guide to looking for grants from Trusts and other bodies. Sources of information on grants, plus one parish’s experience of how they funded a capital project.
  • HLF Places of Worship Grants – How to apply for a grant from Heritage Lottery Fund Places of Worship, for urgent repairs to your church.
  • An Appeal Organiser’s Booklist – Useful reference books (with ISBN numbers)  for anyone putting together a financial appeal, covering grant sources and fundraising strategies. Many are available on free loan from the Resource Centre.
  • Parish Councils funding – The Church Buildings Council has published a response to the recent National Association of Local Councils briefing regarding parish councils spending money on churches.

The national church has produced a number of Funding Guides.

The Fund for Historic Buildings website is a comprehensive funding guide for repairing, restoring or converting for alternative use historic buildings.

Your local Council for Voluntary Service can provide details of sources of funding from statutory bodies and Government agencies which may be willing to help your project. These groups are staffed by volunteers:
Voluntary Action North Somerset
Spark Somerset (South Somerset & Mendip)
Engage West Somerset and Engage Taunton

Help from the VAT man

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (LPWGS) allows parishes to get VAT back on most repairs and alterations to listed church buildings. The Government has made available £42m a year, which should be enough for parishes to be able to reclaim 100% of the VAT on eligible repairs and alterations to listed church buildings. Visit the website or phone the helpline 0845 601 5945.

The Memorials Grant Scheme is a similar scheme for getting VAT back on work done to public memorials (might include many church/war memorials).

Fundraising events

Fundraising events should not replace planned and proportionate giving for resourcing day-to-day expenses. But they can have a place for one off activities and, provided that they concentrate on FUN, can be a means of bringing communities together. They establish connections which can lead to conversation which can enable exploration of Christian Commitment which can lead to Conversion.  Too much stress on FUNd can send out the message ‘we want your money and are less concerned about the person behind the pound’.  So, look at ‘faith raising’ and ‘fun raising’.

Ideas include: concert, sponsored walk/bike ride, fair, fun day, treasure hunt, open gardens, quiz, progressive/bring & share meal, barbecue, teddy bears’ picnic, auction of promises, art/wedding dress exhibition, flower festival, church Christmas card launch and lunch, gift day for roof appeal etc. Work in partnership with other charities or interest groups.

Buildings and their use

The Church of England’s ChurchCare website is a goldmine of information and authoritative advice on anything to do with church maintenance and repair.

Crossing the Threshold is a resource which helps parishes develop their buildings for community use.

Guidance on setting up a community shop in your church is offered by the Plunkett Foundation.

If you’d like to make our Church more user-friendly visit the Living Stones website and connect with their team of professional Christian consultants with expertise in sensitively making better use of church buildings.

For Disability Discrimination Act help visit Through the Roof website. Through the Roof is a Christian charity specialising in advice on how to make your church open to people with disabilities.

The Arthur Rank Centre website is the home of ideas and best practice in everything to do with rural churches, from youth work to welcoming tourists.

Online Giving

Churches raising money through appeals may like to consider using online giving as another method of raising funds from their community.  Read the Institute of Fundraising’s guide, Making the most of digital donations: A practical guide to selecting and using online giving platforms, to find out how.

Loans

In some cases, it may be appropriate to borrow money and information about this can be found on our Loans webpage.

Who to contact

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