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.
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) and to contribute 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.
- 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.
- Work that has already started
- 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 (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Applying for an FKC grant:
Check the FKC Grant Conditions and post the Application Form to the secretary:
- This is the current FKC & NCT Application Form as a PDF. If using a printed off copy of the PDF form, please type or use black ink so that we can photocopy it. This is the current Downloadable FKC & NCT Application Form in Word. If completing electronically, please keep to the two/three page format – 2 for FKC Grant only and 3 if also applying for an NCT Grant.
- A copy of your most recently audited Church accounts. Please also include the accounts of any associated bodies (e.g. Friends) who have the upkeep of the church as their main objective.
- Any other information if you think that it is necessary to explain your particular situation. Additional information is not a requirement for a grant, and architectural specifications detailed costings and building consents etc are not required, however brief summaries or a photograph or two can be useful in some cases.
Applications can be made 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.
If you are not applying for an NCT Partnership grant, there is no need to return the third sheet of the application form.
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. The NCT Partnership grants are available for necessary structural repair projects with a total cost between £10,000 and £100,000 when need is demonstrated. The NCT state that they give preference to churches which stay open and which are involved in community activities.
Applying for an NCT Partnership grant:
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.
You may apply for both FKC and NCT grants at the same time.
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. This is the link to the terms and conditions for NCT Partnership Grants.
In particular please note the following:
- The building must be open for 40 days per year outside service hours.
- If you are offered an NCT grant, the church will be expected to make an annual donation to NCT for five years, and three members of the congregation will be expected to join the Friends of the National Churches Trust for three years. Please see http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/support-our-work/become-friend-britains-churches
- If NCT select your project for an NCT Partnership grant, they will need a general view of the exterior of the building, and one of the interior. They should be good quality 1 – 5 Mb jpegs. Because the dates of FKC and NCT meetings are not synchronised, the photos will be required expeditiously.
- We cannot recommend a project unless 50% of the funding is already in place at the date that we submit the recommendation to NCT. Any VAT refund expected counts as money raised (this condition is not in the NCT terms and conditions, only in their guidance for county trusts).
- Partnership grants cannot be offered if work starts before NCT receive our recommendation (three to four months after we consider applications in January and July) our latest submission dates for applications from churches).
- When you apply for the grant to be paid, you will be required to send a copy of your church maintenance plan, and to make a standardised project report, and a year after completion of the project a project evaluation survey. For guidance please see http://www.nationalchurchestrust.org/caring-your-building/regular-maintenance.
- Check the Guidelines to NCT Partnership Grants.
- Indicate that you are applying for an NCT grant at the top of the first page of the application form.
- Fill in all three sheets of the application form
We will assess your NCT application, and if recommending a grant we will pass your application on to the NCT for their approval. They will contact you with their decision.
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 should be sent to the secretary by 1st May or 1st November. We will try to fit in applications received after this if possible. In any case it is as well to send in applications as soon as they are ready, and to give the secretary warning of applications to be made near the deadline.
- When we receive your application, we will check it and probably contact you to discuss the work and your funding. We do not have formal architectural or financial requirements, leaving those to your architects and treasurer, and the church and civil authorities. However we do check that the proposals are sensible, and we do want to understand your true need, and to check the architectural merit or historic interest of your church or chapel. We are also likely to arrange to visit you to see the proposed work and discuss your finances with you.
- In early June and early December the Grants sub-committee meets to consider the applications, and to draw up proposed grant offers for the approval of the Executive Committee.
- In early July and early January the grant offers are agreed by the Executive Committee, and the secretary will let you know of the success of your application after this meeting.
- If you are also applying for an NCT Partnership grant we will forward your application to the NCT after our Executive Committee meeting. The NCT will contact you with their decision after their grants committee meeting some months later. From this point, they take over the administration of their grant. Their grant offers will expire two years after they make the offer to you.
- When the work has been done, or at least an architect’s certificate has been issued for part of it exceeding the value of the Friend’s grant, send a copy of the certificate to the secretary who will arrange payment to you. We would prefer to do this electronically, so if this is possible, please include your bank details. If you do not have an architect supervising the work, please contact the secretary to agree an equivalent proof that work to the value of the grant has been done satisfactorily.
- Friends of Kent Churches Grant offers are initially valid for two years. If you have not claimed your grant in that time, the offer will be reviewed and may be withdrawn if the project is not proceeding.
- If you are also applying for an NCT Partnership grant, we will table the request at the next FKC Executive Committee meeting and advise you of the outcome. If we are recommending your application we will require, at that stage, the photos of the exterior and interior of the building and will forward the completed application to the NCT. The NCT will contact you with their decision after their grants committee meeting some months later. From this point, they take over the administration of their grant and the collection of project reports. Their grant offers will expire two years after they make the offer to you.