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.

'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

You might also find some of this information from NCVO about searching for, and applying for grants helpful.

Recently, Benefact Group (the owner of Ecclesiastical Insurance) has put together a website with loads of free information and webinars about how to find grants and apply for them. This is well worth looking at.  We've not had time to review all of this yet - so if you watch a webinar and find it particularly useful, please let us know, and we can signpost others to it too: 

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)

    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: Caroline McConnell

    Every Bristol Diocese parish will fall under at least one of the following Historic Churches Trusts, or the Temple Charities:

    Temple Charities (Temple Ecclesiastical, St Thomas Ecclesiastical, Bristol Archdeaconry Trust)

    A number of ecclesiastical charities have for many years awarded grants in support of the work of the Church of England in the historic archdeaconry of Bristol area (see website for map). Parishes and, in some cases, other bodies are encouraged to apply. These three charities have now merged and have a joint application form.

    Contact details and other information on website and on application form.

    Deadlines are 28th Feb and 20th Sept each year.

    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, but not those in the Bristol City Council area. This includes a few parishes within Bristol South Deanery.
    Visit the SCT website here.

    Benefact Trust (was All Churches Trust)

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


    Diocesan Creative Arts Fund

    The fund exists to support and invest in engagement with the creative arts by Anglican Churches in the Diocese of Bristol.

    The fund is particularly concerned with supporting projects, work and initiatives which further the creative arts within Diocese of Bristol Churches within the following areas of focus:

    • have a focus on sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with people;
    • provide opportunities for people to encounter the Christian faith and Christian community within Diocese of Bristol churches;
    • deliver a resource for artists and creatives for personal and spiritual development;
    • are concerned with issues of justice and oppression.

    Applications for funding should be submitted for consideration by the Fund Managers through Revd Erica Bebb. Whilst there is no limit to the amount of funding that can be requested, please be advised that this is a small seed funding fund, with limited financial resources, that is unlikely to fund repeat applications.

    Applications must be made by, or with the expressed endorsement of, an Anglican church in the Diocese of Bristol. For further information please email:

    Find out more about the diocesan Creative Arts network here.


    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) Possible external fundraising consultants with experience of supporting churches to realise their projects, who may be able to assist you.

    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, contact your archdeacon in the first instance.

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

    Other useful links

    Various guides on writing and submitting a funding application


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