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Funding for Church Buildings

When it comes to raising funds for your church buildings – whether it’s for urgent repairs, installation of toilets and kitchens, a re-ordering for a more community-friendly space, or conserving historic treasures, this section will guide you through your first steps.

Getting started

Who do you contact first? Below is a list of funders under useful headings to get you started. Once you get your first bag of money to jingle, it will help you attract other funders.

Charitable Grants for Churches | PDF

The FUNDfinder computer program is easy to use and gives your paraish free access to funding advice and sources of funding.The Paraish Resources website also offers a list of funders offering charitable grants for churches.

FUNDfinder | Webpage 

Your strategy

Aspirations, needs, priorities, outcomes. All this ‘grant-speak’ can be daunting but you’ll soon get the hang of it. Take a look at the checklist below from the leader of a highly successful project in a modestly-sized church within a small village to help you focus on your own scheme. 

Strategy Checklist | PDF

Apply early

Funders such as the National Churches Trust like to see projects in their planning stages. Potential partners and funders will want to see a professional business plan for your project and your Statement of Significance is a good starting point.

Business Plan | PDF

Statement of Significance | PDF

Parish Resources | Weblink

Who can help?

Only a handful of funders can help with your particular project. That’s because each has strict criteria – usually found on their website. If you can’t match their requirements, it’s time to move on. You can view helpful presentations from the National Churches Trust and Suffolk Historic Churches Trust. They can help with both grants and advice on other funders. 

National Churches Trust | Weblink

Suffolk Historic Churches Trust | Weblink

Fundraising friends

When raising funds from your own resources, the obvious place to start is with your Friends Group. Don’t have one? The National Churches Trust has a downloadable resources pack is approved by the Charity Commission.

National Churches Trust | Weblink

Parish Resources | Weblink

  • The Centenary Fund - a Centenary legacy-+

    The Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich was created out of the Dioceses of Norwich and Ely 100 years ago as a deliberate move on the part of the Church of England to minister directly to the historic county of Suffolk. The year 1914 also saw the outbreak of the First World War which left its mark on our county as it did elsewhere.

    The new Diocese embraced virtually the whole of Suffolk except for the area in the far north east around Lowestoft known as Lothingland. It was agreed the Cathedral should be in Bury St Edmunds and that the Bishop should be based in Ipswich.

    The Centenary Fund has been launched to celebrate the past 100 years and to provide a meaningful legacy for future generations. Over that time the role of churches has changed and expanded and many exciting things happen through congregations and the wider use of church buildings.

    The Centenary Fund is an endowment fund where the gift forms the legacy and we use the interest to fund projects to encourage and enable churches to better serve the wider community across the Diocese.

    The Fund will be managed by Suffolk Community Foundation and aims to support community projects such as making church buildings more accessible to community groups; providing activities for those who are isolated; supporting the work of a parish nurse; organising a learning activity with a local school, or aiding a conservation or environmental project. It will add value to the work already undertaken by the Church of England in partnership with other churches and organisations.

    To be eligible for funding, projects must involve an Anglican organisation, for example a Parochial Church Council or church school, but hopefully many projects will feature partnerships with community groups or other churches. Watch the website for when to apply for funding.

    About the Centenary Fund

    To download a letter from the Chairman Centenary Fund Committee | PDF

    To download frequently asked questions | PDF

    How to Contribute to the Fund

    Donations can be made via the Suffolk Community Foundation. Cheques can be sent direct to the Foundation. Alternatively a standing order can be set up by downloading the form and sending it to the Suffolk Community Foundation. Or you can give directly by going to the Suffolk Community Foundation website

    To download a standing order form click here. You can contact Suffolk Community Foundation on 01473 602602.

    How to Apply for a Grant

    Contact the Suffolk Community Foundation via their website or via 01473 602602 for details.

  • Elizabeth Walters Trust-+

    A Trust, established nearly 450 years ago, is still available for groups and individuals, in and around Ipswich, who are organising Christian projects for young people.

    The Trust was established following a legacy from a 16th century benefactor Elizabeth Walter, daughter of John Moore, Bailiff of Ipswich and Burgess to Parliament (MP) for the Borough in 1571. The Trust exists today, more than 400 years on, to keep the church of St Lawrence in good repair and to pay half the stipend of its preacher. It also offers grants to individuals and organisations for religious and educational purposes in connection with the Church of England amongst children, young persons and adults within the deanery of Ipswich. Recent beneficiaries of the Trust include: Whitton St Mary and St Botolph for its Steppin’ Up summer club; Ipswich St Helen for The Life Exhibition, an interactive, multi-media event about the life of Jesus, and Sidegate Primary School for the creation and distribution of multi-faith stories. Grants issued are usually around £300-£1000 per project. The Trust is chaired by the Archdeacon of Suffolk and meets twice yearly at the Diocesan Office.

    Application forms can be obtained from the Trust’s clerk Philip Keeble via or downloaded from the following link. 

    Elizabeth Walter Trust | PDF

  • The Foundation of St Edmund-+

    This is the Cathedral’s fund which will help assist it with fundraising for the future life, work and mission of the Cathedral.

    Where does the money go?

    On Cathedral projects which develop the resources to support the mission and ministry of the Cathedral (eg. Tower Tours and Music Outreach).

    Where does the money come from?

    From legacies and individual donations, either with one-off or regular donations.

    Download a leaflet with more information | PDF