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 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.
Latest Grants Awarded
St Julitta, Lanteglos by Camelford
Repairs to rope chamber in tower – £1,000
St Moran, Lamorran
Internal repairs to enable reopening of the church – £5,000
Repairs to medieval windows – £5,000
Penzance Catholic Church
Damp proofing to lower crypt walls and floor – £2,000
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:
St Michael and All Angels, Budehaven have begun work on the repairs to the bellcote for which the CHCT granted £2,000 towards the project cost in October 2020.
In recent years the ceramic tiled floors of the aisles of St Michael’s church had become increasingly uneven, with the tiles tipping and cracking and creating a safety hazard. Investigation found that the sub-floor foundation was disintegrating and that the whole floor needed to be replaced. Also the large nave altar space had been paved with concrete slabs in a 1970s re-ordering; not only were these unsightly but rising damp penetrated the joints in wet weather and the slabs were heavily water-stained.
The Committee was delighted to receive the following good news from Andrew Yates, Priest in Penlee Cluster
“A big thank you to the CHCT grants committee for the award of the £1000 grant towards the next stage of the window restoration project at Paul Church. click here to find out more