Friends of Kent Churches give grants to churches in use of architectural merit or historic interest in the County of Kent (pre April 1965 boundaries) 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 also those parts of south east London which were in Kent when FKC was founded in 1949. This means that Beckenham, Bromley, Sidcup, Bexley, Erith and Penge are included although transferred to London in the 1965 boundary changes. For the avoidance of doubt, the area covered in west Kent coincides with the current Church of England 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)
To see how much money has been made available for grants and to see two examples of fabric improvements please click on what a difference a grant makes.
For your information here, from the FKC Annual Report, is the Grants Committee Chairman’s Report for 2018:-
The number of grant applications seemed to have dropped a little over the last year, especially from the Rochester diocese. So it was decided to contact the six archdeacons of the two dioceses to see whether they might kindly forward an email from me to the churchwardens and clergy outlining the work of the Friends of Kent Churches and how we exist to help them financially in the repair and maintenance of the fabric of those churches which are of architectural merit or historic interest. I am most grateful for their help in this as I think it took effect towards the end of the year when we had more applications from the Rochester churches than Canterbury, reversing a recent trend. Perhaps those churches towards London that were within the old (pre 1965) Kent County boundary had forgotten that they still qualified. This will be seen in next year’s report as the grants agreed by this committee in December 2018 will go to the Executive Committee in January 2019 for their consideration. We hope this renewed interest will be maintained next year and also that it will help in increasing the numbers of those participating in Ride and Stride.
Every church which applies for a grant gets a visit either from one or two of our committee members or the whole committee on the same day when it meets to consider all the applications. During the year we visited in all thirty-one churches. These visits are crucial as they help in checking that the information we have is up-to-date, as some of the applications are made months before our meeting and situations may have changed, for instance regarding grants from other sources. We also can find out whether there are more repairs that are just round the corner which might need attention in the near future. At these visits we always get a warm welcome and some refreshments!
As reported last year we learnt that the National Churches Trust were revising the way they were allocating grants which would mean they would no longer be making small grant payments through the County Trusts like ours after 2018. So for this last round St Dunstan Canterbury (£2,500), St Mary Stansted (£2,500) and St Mary Stockbury (£5,000) were successful.
Committee membership remains the same as last year with one exception as Jolyon Drury had to resign due to work commitments. He had only been with us a short time but we much valued his wisdom. I am most grateful to the hard work of all the members of the committee without whom we would not be able to make all the visits to the churches to meet those involved in all the projects. This personal touch helps to present the human face of the Friends. Their input is invaluable. Peter Lock, Chairman