Church Buildings - Update on Grants and Maintenance – July 2019

Up on the roof of St Andrew's, Swavesey  (Click to enlarge)

Up on the roof of St Andrew's, Swavesey

Posted on Monday 15 July 2019
It’s been quite a journey, but the team at St Andrew’s are in sight of the finish line, as the project to repair the church following a major lead theft draws to a close.

The project has been as much about the community as it has been about the building, with the PCC firmly embracing the idea that the church belongs to the village and “we all have to use it or lose it”. 

As the project lead explained, “welcoming people in has to start outside – the first challenge is to get people through the gate”.  The churchyard has become a popular spot for local people to relax in and was host to a zipwire teddy event recently.  A celebration to mark the end of the repairs project is planned for late September this year.

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



National Churches Trust Increases Threshold for Foundation Grants

The National Churches are looking to increase interest in their Foundation Grants by increasing the amount on offer.

“For our final round of Foundation Grants this year we will accept applications for work of up to £20,000 excluding VAT and we will offer up to 50% grants of up to £10,000. The deadline for applications is 26 September 2019.”

Previously the grant was only available to projects under £10,000 with a maximum of £3000 on offer.  It is likely to return to this after September, so if you think your project could be eligible make an application asap.  For full details visit the website or contact Michael Murray for a chat.

Tel: 020 7227 1934              


Introducing…The John Coates Charitable Trust   

Grant Size: £5,000 to £10,000

Partner Funding: Not specified

Special Criteria: Support UK-registered charities working in in London, the South East, South West of England, and East Anglia, which work in the following areas:

  • Education
  • The arts
  • Medicine and healthcare
  • Heritage and the environment
  • Societal and community cohesion.

Generally, grants are awarded for one year. There are a number of charities with which the Trust has a long-standing relationship, which means that the process is highly competitive.

Application: Trustees meet twice a year – usually in January and July.  Grant rounds generally close one month before the meeting, but applications are welcome at any time of the year.  Decisions announced within a month of the meeting. Due to the volume of applications, the Trust are unable to provide any additional feedback. 

Contact:  Contact via the website -


Banish the hairy gargoyles and gutters. 

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

This month the key advice is to: 

  • Look at timber windows, doors, fascias and bargeboards. Check for cracked and rotten wood. Redecoration may be required
  • Clear away any plant growth from around the base of the walls and in particular from the drainage channel
  • Have the lightning conductor system serviced once every five years
  • If your building has a steeple consider having it inspected by a steeplejack once every five years.

You will be pleased to read that the advice for August is to take a (well-earned) break! 

FREE Workshops

If you’d like more advice and guidance on maintenance, book a place on the FREE SPAB Faith in Maintenance workshops.  The course will explore:

  • What is maintenance?
  • Why do buildings decay?
  • Why is maintenance important?
  • What should we look for?
  • An overview of managing maintenance, how it fits with parish responsibilities
  • Understanding the role of professional inspections and reports
  • Health and safety
  • Baseline Survey and Maintenance Plans

The workshops are on the 12th October 2019 at Little Paxton and 21st March 2020 at Wisbech.  There are also a few places left on the Conservation Cleaning workshop at Outwell on the 10th September –read about the workshop held at St Andrew’s, Soham here: 

New services available on MaintenanceBooker

This is the full list of services now supported by MaintenanceBooker:

For further information, please visit

For works costing less than £1,000 the Preventative Maintenance Micro Grant Programme can help with grants of up to £500 (not exceeding 50% of the costs excluding VAT).

MaintenanceBooker is supported by the National Churches Trust and managed by NCT Heritage Services Ltd in partnership with 2buy2. 

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