Fundraising and trusts

Fundraising for churches

There are many ways to generate additional funds to support the mission of the Church, such as grant-making trusts and charities.

The below resources are designed to help you plan and fundraise for your church project:

  1. How to fundraise for your project
  2. How to develop a fundraising strategy
  3. National Funding Guide: This Charitable Grants for Churches guide lists a selection of funders that support church projects nationwide.  Download the guide
  4. Diocesan Funding Guide: This guide is designed to supplement the National Funding Guide and is for all funders of church buildings and projects across the Diocese of Bristol.
    Download the guide
  5. You might also find some of this information from NCVO about searching for, and applying for grants helpful.
  6. You can find loads of free information and webinars about how to find grants and apply for them on the Benefact Group (Ecclesiastical Insurance) website. Whilst this is a great resource, we have not had time to review it all, so if you find any of the resources particularly useful, please let us know, so we can signpost to it here.

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 the A Church Near You website that will demonstrate your charitable status, and is accepted by an increasing number of organisations such as JustGiving

Sometimes funders will ask you for 'Articles of Association' or other documents

Find out which documents are available to you

Grants for churches and charities 

  1. 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.

    Download an application form

  2. The Bristol Impact Fund
    - four-year grant funding to Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise (VCSE) organisations in the city
    - smaller grants for 18 months to encourage new ideas and involvement from more diverse communities

    Learn more about BIF

  3. West of England Heat Pump Grant
    A Heat Pump Grant helps registered charities to replace old, inefficient heating systems with air-to-water, ground-to-water or water-to-water heat pumps. The grant supports projects that help achieve a measurable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to the current baseline emissions.

    Learn more about the Heat Pump Grant

  4. 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, email:

Learn more about the Creative Arts Network


Net Zero/Sustainability funding

VCSE Energy Effiiciency Scheme
The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme will help voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations (VCSEs) across England to deliver more efficient services for people and communities by saving money on their energy bills. The VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme is offering independent energy assessments to help identify energy-saving opportunities in your building.
Green Business Grants
A Green Business Grant is designed to help SMEs(small and medium-sized enterprises) purchase and install new products and equipment that reduce your greenhouse gas emissions, cut your utility costs and improve your energy efficiency.
Bristol City Leap Community Energy Fund
The Bristol City Community Energy Fund fund aims to support the development of energy-related community projects in Bristol (defined as the City of Bristol administrative area BS1-16) that will contribute to the decarbonisation of Bristol. It sets out to:
  • Reduce the use of fossil fuels
  • Enable communities to interact with the Bristol Heat Network
  • Support communities to reduce their energy consumption


Every Bristol Diocese parish also falls under at least one of the following funding organisations:

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 into Temple Charities and have a joint application form.
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.
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.
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.
Benefact 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.

For more information on their Building Improvement Grant, visit the Benefact Trust website.

people working together around a computer

Fundraising support from the Diocese

There are a number of sources of support and advice to help you plan and develop your church project. If you're looking for support, you can contact the External Relations Team by emailing or speak with an external fundraising consultant with experience of supporting churches to realise projects. We can provide support with sourcing these consultants, as required.

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. Applications are considered monthly by the Diocesan Finance Committee.

For more information, contact your Archdeacon:

Other useful links

Download guides on writing and submitting fundraising applications 

Download our 'how to' guides on encouraging generosity and stewardship

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