If you are associated with a church in need of restoration or repair (of any denomination) we may be able to help.
We will consider helping any church, chapel or meeting house of any denomination belonging to Churches Together in Britain and Ireland which is open for worship. Unfortunately we cannot help closed churches or chapels.
Currently we can offer three types of grant:
Restoration and Repair Grants;
Smaller Project Grants;
Maintenance Inspection Incentive Grants
Church Friend membership – a Church Friend applying for a grant has the benefit of a maximum possible offer increased from £4,000 to £5,000 as well as being directed to other grant funding bodies which have helped with similar projects. We very much hope that every church in the Duchy will become a Friend, the current cost being £50 per annum. Contact our membership secretary for more information
Full details appear below
Restoration & Repair Grants
Have a look at Previous Grants Awarded to see the churches we have helped and the variety of projects we have supported. The process is very simple, and not time consuming. Download a grant application form; there are four to choose from depending on the denomination of your church (C of E, RC, Methodist, or Independent). Then fill in the form on your computer, and email it back to the Secretary (his email details are on the form) as an attachment together with the supporting documentation requested.
General Restoration & Repair Grants Criteria
Our Trust Deed states that our funds are applied for "the preservation and maintenance, improvement, upkeep, beautification and reconstruction of churches in Cornwall and of monuments, fittings, fixtures, stained glass, furniture, ornaments and chattels in churches and churchyards".
However, our resources are limited and therefore at present we prioritise our activities to structural work on roofs, rainwater goods, followed by electrical safety and heating systems.
As indicated above, we also support work on windows, monuments, paintings and clocks.
The Trust does not repair bells and organs, but it will help if the surrounding structure is involved. For example, often bell frames are an integral part of the tower, and we do consider helping with those.
We do not usually support new build kitchens and toilets, or re-ordering.
We do not provide funding for boundary walls unless they form part of the church building itself.
We do not fund car parks.
The maximum grant size is £4,000, or £5,000 for Church Friends (see below)
Process & Timescales
Once we have received the form, then arrangements will be made for your church to be visited, and a member of the Trust will discuss your project with you and see exactly what it is your church needs. The Trustees meet to consider Grants in February, May and October in each year. To be processed, Grant Applications should be submitted to the Grants Secretary by the 1st. January, 1st. May and 1st September in each year. At the moment our maximum grant is £4,000, or £5,000 for signed up Friends of Cornish Churches.
If you have any questions, then please contact the Grants Secretary.
Application Forms for Repair & Restoration Grants
To download, click on the appropriate form below
Grants For Smaller Projects
This scheme covers most smaller, routine projects that are likely to arise. It is also sufficiently flexible to accommodate urgent repairs.
CHCT will offer grants of £1,000 or 20% of the cost of the scheme before VAT, whichever is less. The minimum grant size is £250. VAT may be reclaimable under the Listed Places of Worship (LPW) Grant Scheme.
The main criteria are:
The work MUST have been identified by QI report or report by regular maintenance contractor / builder;
Two quotes for the work must have been obtained;
Work costed between £1,000 and £10,000 before VAT
Confirmation that the work does not require a faculty or similar permission.
We will arrange for our committee member for your area or Deanery to contact you and to undertake a site inspection if necessary. You will receive a decision in a few days; it will not have to wait until the next scheduled grants meeting of the trustees. The full grant will be paid on completion of the work.
Work of this nature is unlikely to require a faculty, but you MUST consult with the Diocesan Advisory Committee (DAC) or equivalent body for your denomination before proceeding. We will require evidence that you have done so before making any grant. Please note, the DAC has special arrangements for emergencies.
This scheme is similar to the National Churches Trust (NCT) Foundation Grant Programme, which encourages churches to act on small urgent maintenance issues.
We hope that this initiative will help churches address maintenance issues on the grounds that a ’stitch in time saves nine’.
To apply, download the CHCT Smaller Project Grant form here
Maintenance Inspection Incentive Grants
After extended periods of lockdown and disruption to both services and fundraising activities many churches are facing acute financial hardship. The temptation is to reduce regular maintenance in order to cut costs but this only leads to greater problems in the long term as minor defects soon turn into major structural and funding challenges.
Church surveyors, Church Quinquennial inspectors and DACs are unanimous that wherever possible regular inspection and follow-up action will reap significant financial benefits and provide reassurance to hard-pressed PCCs. Ideally, these inspections should be undertaken by a contractor at least twice a year and incorporate:
Towers, valleys and roofs;
Cleaning and clearing all roofs and rainwater goods;
Identifying loose and cracked slates and tiles, repairing where easily accessible;
Full reporting on work undertaken and identification of potential further issues.
CHCT believes it is essential that all churches undertake maintenance and clearance inspections on a regular basis, even entering into formal arrangements with contractors for the work. As a result, we have introduced an incentive scheme whereby we will offer a one-off grant of £250 or half the cost of a twice-yearly inspection, whichever is lower, to any church in Cornwall.
You are welcome to use your regular builder or contact; failing this our website contains a list of contractors (and other tradespeople) who can provide the level of service that we feel is appropriate. Please note that appearance on the list does not mean that CHCT is endorsing the levels and competencies provided; each Church should undertake its own checks.
In order to qualify each church should:
- Be Church Friends of CHCT
- Provide invoices for two six monthly inspections within a twelve month period from your builder or contractor, signed off by your treasurer, fabric officer priest, minister or incumbent, confirming that the inspection has been undertaken satisfactorily, using the form provided (here)
- Provide a copy of a recent bank statement
You do not have to wait until both inspections have been undertaken before submitting your application; if you prefer, we will pay half the grant on receipt of the first invoice and the balance on receipt of the second.
Please note that there is no cap on the overall number of applications we can accept, but each church may only apply once. We reserve the right to close the scheme to new applicants at any time.
Other useful information
Major grant giving organisations include:
The National Churches Trust: https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/our-grants
Historic England: https://historicengland.org.uk
THE NICK CAHILL AWARD
The Truro Diocese Advisory Committee and Cornwall Council are inviting entries for a new award established in memory of our friend and esteemed colleague Nick Cahill. Nick was a hugely influential and highly respected member of the heritage community, a scholar and authority who was unfailingly generous in sharing his wealth of knowledge and expert opinion. His expertise left no corner of Cornwall or aspect of our heritage and historic environment forgotten. The award reflects his passion for churches and chapels.
The Nick Cahill Award will recognise excellence in design and craftsmanship in restoration or improvement projects involving ecclesiastical buildings. It will consider both exciting design interventions and more modest conservation, restoration or modernisation projects in ecclesiastical buildings and churchyards across all faiths and denominations.
The Award has been established will the full support of Mary and Joe Cahill.
The award is open to projects involving ecclesiastical buildings and their setting and associations (graveyards, cemetery buildings, Sunday schools) of all faiths and denominations. The award criteria will be deliberately wide-ranging, and we will encourage entries across diverse areas of work including, but not exclusively:
• Historic fabric restoration or conservation involving traditional craftsmanship
• Re-ordering schemes, extensions or additions to buildings
• Environmental improvements including renewable energy and habitat creation
• Accessibility improvements
• Community volunteering, training and skills development in conservation or preservation
• Newly commissioned artwork or installations
The current list of approved Architects and Surveyors and other advice on repair, restoration, maintenance and updating of your church can be found on the Truro Diocese website.
The Truro Diocese held a web seminar recently with advice from for parishes on how to present their applications for grant funding. The presentations can be found here: Church Grants & Funds Archives - Truro Diocese : Truro Diocese
Anglican churches in the Diocese have free access to Church Grants see https://truro.churchgrants.co.uk (contact for your membership code). For churches from all other denominations it’s £49 a year.
Latest Grants Awarded
Penzance High St Methodist Church
Repairs to ceiling following fall of lime plaster £2,000
Marazion Methodist Church
Treatment of water ingress, repairs to leadwork and plaster £2,600
The National Churches Trust
The National Churches Trust support places of worship from all Christian denominations across the country through funding, advice and other initiatives. They currently offer grants for between £500 - £50,000 to help maintain, repair and update buildings.
You can find out more by visiting their website:
The Marazion Quakers held an Open Day on 2nd July 2022 to celebrate completion of the long and complex process of restoring their three-hundred-year-old Meeting House, the oldest public building in Marazion.
We were delighted to join the Friends to view the result for which the CHCT awarded a grant of £4,000 towards the new roof and air source heat pump underfloor heating system in June 2021.
Additional work was required when it was discovered that the floor joists were rotten and the wooden floor has been replaced with hemlock pine boards made from salvaged beams. The result is magnificent!
A short history of the Marazion Meeting House can be found here.
We are delighted to report that work is well underway to repair the chancel roof at St Andrew’s Stratton for which the CHCT pledged a grant of £3,000 in September 2021.
Those words were recently said to me by someone who contacted us to make a donation a few years ago and is now immersed in St Sampson’s Unlocked, the half a million-pound restoration project at St Sampson’s Church, South Hill, Cornwall. The more I thought about his words the more I realised what a profound statement this was.
A church restoration makes you realise the importance of things, temporal and spiritual. It makes you think about the faith of others and your own faith. It draws you into something deeper than bricks and mortar. It gives a sense of your place in history and the continuation of history. It provides a timeless stabilising effect on the fast pace of modern life. It makes you see the scope and size of a project which sounds so simple on the outside but is complicated and involves layers of expertise. It is a slow process. It demands working and praying with others. Part of the joy of being a Christian is having hope for the future and serving others.
Being involved in a restoration project brings many opportunities, joys and challenges. It quite literally can change your life! There are discoveries to be made, skills to be learnt, people to get to know and never-ending excitement.