Fundraising and trusts

Fundraising for churches

There are many ways to generate additional funds to support the mission of the Church. On this page, you can find out about grant-making trusts and charities.

NOTE: Ecclesiastical have produced a fundraising hub for churches looking for grants and trusts during Covid-19

'How to' guides to support church funding

Two Diocesan guides are available to help you plan and fundraise for your church project:

  1. How to... fundraise for your project, and
  2. How to... develop a fundraising strategy

Proving your charitable status

Generally only the largest churches are registered charities, but all Church of England churches are exempted charities. You can now download a certificate for your church from that will demonstrate your charitable status, and is accepted by an increasing number of organisations such as Just Giving. 

Sometimes funders will ask you for 'Articles of Association' or other documents - you can find out about which documents to use if you are asked for these here.

National and Diocesan Funding Guides

  • Diocesan Funding Guide: This newly created guide is a one-stop-shop for all funders of church buildings and projects across the Diocese of Bristol. Download the guide by clicking here. (This is designed to supplement the National Funding Guide below.)

  • National Funding Guide: This Charitable Grants for Churches guide lists a selection of funders that support church projects nationwide. Download the guide by clicking here and going to section four.


    Grants for churches (Including Ecclesiastical Charities information)

    Ecclesiastical Charities

    A number of ecclesiastical charities have for many years awarded grants in support of the work of the Church of England in the Bristol area. Parishes and, in some cases, other bodies are encouraged to apply.

    Ecclesiastical Charities

    Bristol Archdeaconry Charity

    Parishes from Bristol deaneries and Kingswood & South Glos can apply once a year (26 September). Download an application form here.
    Clerk: Mrs Anne Maddox  

    St Matthias Trust

    The Foundations primary objective is the advancement of education in the Dioceses of Bath & Wells, Bristol and Gloucester, with a preference for higher and further education; such education contributing to the advancement of the Church of England.

    Deadlines to apply: 31st May and 30th September. Download an application form here.
    Clerk: Mrs Karine Prescott

    St Thomas Ecclesiastical Charity

    Parishes and bodies serving the city of Bristol can apply with a particular emphasis on those areas serving where these is greatest need.
    Clerk: Mr Christopher Jones

    Temple Ecclesiastical Charity

    Parishes from Bristol deaneries and Kingswood & South Glos can apply at different points during the year.
    Clerk: Mr Roger James

    Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust

    Wiltshire Historic Churches Trust is an independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting church buildings of historic, architectural and community value across the county. Wiltshire has an extremely rich ecclesiastical heritage of more than 500 buildings.
    Visit the WHCT website here.

    Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust

    Gloucestershire Historic Churches Trust is, similarly, an independent, non-profit organisation which promotes and supports church buildings of historic, architectural and community value throughout Gloucestershire, and including churches within the diocese of Bristol which are within the unitary authorities of either Bristol City Council or South Gloucestershire. A list of grants awarded and projects supported is published half-yearly. The maximum grant normally available towards repair, maintenance and improvement costs is £5,000 but can be increased up to £10,000 in some exceptional cases.
    Visit the GHCT website here

    Somerset Churches Trust

    Somerset Churches Trust include several churches within our diocese, especially those formerly within the historic County of Somerset prior to the Local Government Reorganisation Acts. These should include any church south of the River, and several parishes within Bristol South Deanery.
    Visit the SCT website here.

    Allchurches Trust Limited

    The Allchurches Trust Limited (ATL) is a registered charity, providing grants in support of churches, church establishments, religious charities and charities preserving UK heritage. ATL is also the charitable owner of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, which specialises in insuring churches. Ecclesiastical passes all available profits to ATL, which in turn makes grants to a wide variety of charities.
    Visit the ATL website.

    Fundraising consultants and support

    There are a number of sources of support and advice to help you plan and develop your church project.

    The first point of contact is the Diocesan Giving and Resources Adviser, who can be contacted at 0117 906 0100.

    As well as providing advice directly, she may also put you in contact with:

    a) members of the Diocesan Advisory Committee, who can provide practical guidance and support, or

    b) Clare Jefferis, an independent fundraising consultant with experience of supporting churches to realise their projects (

    Diocesan Loan Scheme

    The Diocese may be able to provide a loan to support your church project. Loans are provided for projects that have already secured the majority of their funding, and are not offered as a 'start up' loan.

    For more information, download the loan guidelines and application form.

    There are no deadlines, as applications are considered monthly by the Diocesan Finance Committee.