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Church Buildings: an update on Grants and Maintenance

Feltwell’s Faith in Flint

“Nobody wants to fund the repair of a churchyard wall”(Anon). Until that is you turn it into an inspiring heritage skills project. That’s exactly what the team at Feltwell St Mary’s did. 

In addition to the Parish Church, St Mary’s PCC are also responsible for the churchyard around a redundant church, St Nicholas’.  It was the long retaining wall around this churchyard that seemed to be a challenge too great at the start of this year - at risk from collapsing into the road but no money to fix it. Fast forward nearly 10 months and…

  • college students’ have completed a photographic survey to create ‘The Book of the Wall’
  • SPAB (Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings) have organised a regional group working party and also a national flint workshop
  • the project has been awarded a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Feltwell St Mary’s PCC put their Faith in Flint and developed a project that has become a real focus for championing traditional heritage skills and bringing communities together. 

Please share your good news with us about grant success and exciting building related projects.

Grant News

National Lottery Community Fund (formerly The Big Lottery)

The new look NLCF consists of three grant schemes (no application deadlines):

  • Awards for All – grants from £300 up to £10,000
  • Reaching Communities England – grants from £10,000. No upper limit.
  • Partnerships - grants from £10,000. No upper limit.

Each scheme focuses on community projects so they don’t tend to support building repairs or conservation unless you can prove that the work addresses a need within the community and will have a positive impact. The Fund does support building refurbishment and would like to encourage more applications from places of worship that support people from the wider local community, regardless of faith.

There isn’t any cap on what proportion of your project can be capital works, but the Fund no longer support large-scale building projects which generally means complete rebuilds.  When the Fund refers to “small-scale” it is referring to the size and scope of the project rather than costs.

The Fund will support projects that seek to install or improve toilets, kitchens, heating, access and equipment as long as they have a demonstrable community need. There is no limit on the size of the community; large or small, as long as your building is used (or will be at the end of the project) most of the week you will be eligible to apply.

Match funding is not required but is preferred to demonstrate the sustainability of the project i.e. that money can be raised from elsewhere to support activities after the grant.

The Fund will give grants that cover 100% of costs.

Awards for All grants can also be used to support project development work including feasibility studies, community consultations, open days, skills training and exploring new ways of fundraising and recruiting volunteers. 

The application process for the Reaching Communities and Partnerships grants has been simplified and no longer requires the completion of a lengthy application form.  After completing a few questions online, you will be given a named contact to guide you through the multi-stage process.  The process takes about 4-9 months from start to the grant decision.  This improvement has resulted in an increase in applications!  If you are interested in applying, please visit the website and contact the regional team with any queries. ensure your project meets all the essential criteria before making an application. 

Introducing the G F Eyre Charitable Trust

Grant Size: Funding is at the discretion of the Trustees. Previous grants have been for between £200 and £10,000.

Partner Funding: None required

Special Criteria: Funding is available for general charitable purposes. Previously the Trust has supported a wide range of different local, national and international causes, including charities working for human medical research, the relief of suffering and respite, and religious and heritage charities. Information regarding restrictions has not been stipulated. Interested parties should contact the funding provider directly for further details.

Application: The G F Eyre Charitable Trust does not maintain a website or an email address. Groups should write to the Trust for further information on how to apply.

Contact: Andrew Richards, G F Eyre Charitable Trust, Francis Clark Llp, Centenary House, Peninsula Park, Rydon Lane, Exeter, EX2 7XE.  Tel: 01392 667000

Quick Glance - Grant Deadlines






Norfolk Churches Trust


The D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust


Church Buildings Council (Organs)


The Steel Charitable Trust


Not specified

Cambridgeshire Historic Churches Trust

Not specified


Not specified

Screwfix Foundation

Not specified

The Rank Foundation


Cambridgeshire Community Foundation


National Churches Trust: Cornerstone


National Lottery Heritage Fund




Veolia Environment Trust


Not specified

The Swire Charitable Trust - grants over £25,000


The Trusthouse Charitable Foundation (Major Grants)


The Joseph Rank Trust


The Leche Trust


FCC Community Action Fund


War Memorials Trust



Mick George Community Fund


Church Buildings Council and Wolfson Foundation


Church Buildings Council (Wall Paintings)


Maintenance Tips

SPAB Maintenance Calendar - a helpful reminder of annual maintenance tasks can be downloaded here:

The key advice over the next few months includes:

  • Check masonry for signs of damage. Report any deeply eroded mortar joints or cracks or signs of movement.
  • Check the roofs for damage. Debris on the ground from broken or missing slates and tiles indicates that there may be a problem
  • Clear leaves and debris from gutters and rainwater pipes regularly and check for any storm damage.
  • Check that the flagpole is secure.
  • Make sure that fire safety equipment has been serviced.

FREE Workshops

There are still a few places available on the FREE Faith in Maintenance workshop on the 21st March 2020 in Wisbech.

The two Conservation Cleaning Workshops were very successful.  Thanks go to volunteers at St Andrew’s, Soham and St Clement’s, Outwell for their help on the day.  Information from the workshops will be available on the website soon.

Remember you can contact the Church Buildings Team with any queries relating to grant funding or building maintenance.  We are always happy to help.

Page last updated: Tuesday 15th October 2019 9:13 AM
First published on: 15th October 2019
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