Applying for a Grant

The Friends of Kent Churches not only make grants themselves but also act on behalf of the National Churches Trust. Applications for their Partnership Grants are made through the Friends of Kent Churches.

You can apply to us for a Friends of Kent Churches grant, a National Churches Trust Partnership grant or both.

FRIENDS OF KENT CHURCHES GRANTS

We give grants to churches in use of architectural merit or historic interest in the County of Kent (pre April 1965 boundaries) towards keeping in good order their fabric and fixtures of special importance and providing facilities to keep them in use.

We support the maintenance of fabric and fixtures, and where resources allow, the provision of new facilities where a small grant will have a big impact.

This includes:

  • All Christian denominations and all ages of churches and chapels of either architectural merit or historic importance where services are held which are open to the public.
  • Anywhere in Kent and those parts of South East London which were in Kent before 1965. This includes Beckenham, Bromley, Sidcup, Bexley, and Erith, and happens to match the C of E diocese of Rochester.
  • All works to maintain the fabric, windows and, in some circumstances, floors, and monuments. Grants are available for fixed facilities such as heating, rewiring, disabled access, security, kitchens, and toilets, but only where a small grant will make a significant contribution to keeping a church in use.

It excludes:

  • Work that has already started before we receive the grant application
  • Reordering, redecorating (except where required as a result of grantable work),    and major new facilities projects
  • Bells, clocks or organs.
  • Churchyards and churchyard walls except for monuments of special importance.

If in doubt, consult the secretary, Deb Sutch (debsutch@btinternet.com)

Applying for an FKC grant:

This can be done as soon as the work has been defined and budget estimates are available. Firm quotations from tenderers are not required. Nor is it necessary to have obtained all the permissions before applying for a grant, although any grant offer that we make will be conditional on the permissions being obtained.

Please apply by EMail if possible to debsutch@btinternet.com, otherwise by post to Deb Sutch, Nevill Lodge, Town Hill, West Malling ME19 6TF.

  1. Check the FKC Grant Conditions to see if you are eligible for a FKC grant.
  2. Complete and send to the secretary Deb Sutch (debsutch@btinternet.com) by 1st November or 1st May:
  • A completed FKC & NCT Grant Application – PDF version for viewing here and/or printing off or FKC & NCT Grant Application which will download and can be saved for completing and EMailing as an attachment. The form needs to be photocopied so if using a printed off form please write in black ink or type.  You only need to complete the first two pages if you are only applying for a FKC grant. Please limit your application to two pages (or three pages if applying for a NCT grant).
  • Your most recently audited church accounts.
  • Accounts of any associated bodies which have the upkeep of the church as their main objective, e.g. Friends.
  • Any other information which you think is necessary to explain your particular situation. We do not need estimates and specifications although a summary and/or photographs may help.

 

NATIONAL CHURCHES TRUST PARTNERSHIP GRANTS

We also deal with applications for NCT Partnership grants and you may apply for both FKC and NCT grants at the same time.

As a trusted partner of the National Churches Trust, we have access to a number of additional grants for repair projects as part of the Partnership Grants Programme.  The Programme has provided over £1 million in grant funding towards repairs at churches and chapels over the last five years.

The NCT Partnership grants are available for necessary and urgent structural repair projects with a total cost between £10,000 and £100,000 when need is demonstrated. Although in some circumstances NCT Partnership grants can be offered for projects costing more than £100,000, or for facilities projects, these circumstances will not arise in Kent.

The NCT when making a grant offer will attach some condition, please see Partnership Grant Programme 2018 – terms and conditions.

 

In particular please note the following:

  • the church must be open for 40 days a year
  • the church and congregation will be expected to make financial contributions to the NCT for the next five years
  • photos of the church inside and outside will be required
  • 50% of the funding must already be in place by the time we submit our grant recommendations to the NCT.  Any VAT refund counts as money raised.
  • grants cannot be offered if work starts before the NCT receive our grant recommendations (generally in September and March following our deadlines of 1 May and 1 November respectively).
  • when applying for the grant to be paid, the church must submit a maintenance plan, a standardised project report and a project evaluation survey a year after completing the work
  • the church will be expected to apply to be on the explore-churches website https://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/explore-churches

 

Applying for an NCT Partnership Grant

  1. Check that your project is eligible (which grant is right for my project) and you have read the conditions (Partnership Grant Programme 2018 – terms and conditions). The sections starting with Grant Offers and Conditions on Page 2 are particularly relevant to churches.
  2. Complete and send to the secretary Deb Sutch (debsutch@btinternet.com) by 1st   November or 1st May all the information that we need for a FKC grant plus page 3 of the application form.

Normally churches apply to us for a FKC and NCT grant at the same time, and in that case there is no need to duplicate paperwork but merely add page 3 of the application form.

 

TIMETABLE FOR BOTH FKC and NCT GRANTS

We offer grants twice a year at meetings of the Executive Committee in January and July. The sequence of events is as follows:

  • Applications sent in by 1st May or 1st November (check with Secretary (debsutch@btinternet.com)if you are near or recently past this deadline, we may be able to extend the deadline.)
  • A member of the FKC grants committee will normally arrange to visit and discuss the work and your funding.  We are not architects but visit to see what work needs doing and whether it is sensible and to understand your true need.
  • The grants committee meets in December and June to discuss grant applications.
  • The executive committee then meets in January and July to consider the grants proposed by the grants committee and letters are sent to churches informing them of the committee’s decision within two weeks of this meeting
  • Payment of the grant is made once work or work to the value of the grant has been completed. Send a copy of the architect’s certificate and bank details to the Secretary, Deb Sutch (debsutch@btinternet.com) If you have no architect, please contact the Secretary to agree an alternative method of confirming that the work has been done.
  • FKC grant offers normally last two years.  If a grant is not claimed within this time we will decide whether to extend the offer depending on progress made.
  • If you are applying for a NCT grant we forward your application to the NCT which meets some months after our January and July meetings and they will get in touch with you after their meeting.