All ages of churches and chapels where services are held and which are open to the public
Anywhere in Kent and those parts of South East London which were in Kent before 1965. This means that places within the London Boroughs of Bexley and Bromley are included although transferred to London in the 1965 boundary changes.
Eligible work includes:
All works to maintain the fabric, windows and, in some circumstances, floors and monuments. Where our resources allow, 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 and organs.
Churchyards and churchyard walls, except for monuments of special importance and works to paths, steps and handrails in the churchyard necessary to facilitate access to the church, including disabled access.
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.
Please see the Timetable for a grant under + What is the Timetable for a grant? immediately below.
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 email if possible, otherwise by post, to the Secretary – see Contacts– by 1st May or 1st November. It is best 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 June and December/January the Grants sub-committee meets to consider the applications, and to draw up proposed grant offers for the approval of the Executive Committee.
In July and January the proposed grant offers are submitted to the Executive Committee, and the secretary will let you know of the result of your application after this meeting.
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 Friends’ grant, send a copy of the certificate to the secretary who will arrange payment to you. We will pay the grant electronically. We should already have details of your bank account but to be certain please include a scan of a paying in slip. 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.
You should include the following with your application:
A copy of your most recent 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 you think 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 and/or photographs can be useful.
The work must have received all necessary approvals from regulatory bodies before the work begins. For Anglican churches a faculty or archdeacon’s certificate is required.
The church will become a member of FKC, if it is not already one.
That a poster and a membership application form (supplied by FKC) will be displayed in the church when work is complete.
We will pay the grant when we receive a copy of an architect’s certificate for part of the work exceeding the value of the grant. If you do not have an architect supervising the work, an equivalent proof that work to the value of the grant has been done satisfactorily should be agreed with the secretary.
Grant offers are initially valid for two years. If you have not claimed your grant in that time, the offer will be reviewed and will be withdrawn if the project is not proceeding.
When the work is done, a short piece will be inserted in the Parish Magazine acknowledging the grant and publicising the work of FKC. It should cover:
The amount of the grant and the work it contributed to
That FKC have been contributing to the maintenance of Churches of architectural merit or historic importance in Kent for over 70 years
FKC rely on fundraising through Ride & Stride, members subscriptions and legacies. Ride & Stride is an annual event which involves cycling or walking between churches and raising funds for your own church and for FKC. Around 700 churches and chapels in Kent participate each year. It is our main source of funds. Details of how to participate each year can be found on http://www.kentrideandstride.co.uk/