Missional Property Fund

Background

The Missional Property Fund has been established with a primary aim to support projects which allow parishes to open up church buildings for mission. The Fund has been made possible by generous support from Marshalls Charity, match funded by the Diocese of Rochester by funds from restricted funds.

This new approach to the allocation of grants from Marshall’s Charity is driven by their stated aim to increase the impact of the Charity’s grants, specifically to ‘support projects where the building works will benefit the mission and ministry of the church’.

This approach is a two-year trial of the new process, but if successful will be adopted for longer.

This approach has been developed following feedback offered as part of the Our Conversation; Our Future engagement in 2016/17. Many church responses to the question ‘What do you currently spend your energy and resources on’ included maintenance, keeping the church building going, and the perceived burden of near-constant fundraising.

In addition, when responses were of a ‘missional’ lean, mention of the restrictions of their current property situation were mentioned. This included a lack of toilets and kitchen facilities, and the layout and function of buildings. From this it is possible to conclude that, in a number of parishes across the Diocese, the property is hindering rather than supporting the mission of the Church. The Missional Property Fund hopes to offer support in this area, increase the funds available, and provide a transparent process for application and allocation.

The Grants

Each financial year the Missional Property Fund will make five grants of up to £20,000, and one grant of £15,000 to repair or improve church buildings, where this will enable the mission plans for the area.

What do you give money towards?

Grants are given towards the repair or improvement of church buildings.  Grants have been given in the past for:

  • roof repairs
  • tower repairs
  • stonework
  • church floors
  • new heating and lighting*
  • new toilets
  • adaptations for disabled access
  • reordering including kitchen facilities, as long as they are within the footprint of the church
  • sound systems
  • rewiring
  • mullions (not glazing)

* The Trustees would like to encourage churches to consider installing heating systems based on renewable technologies (e.g. air source heat pumps) or micro generation of electricity.  An application for such a system is likely to be considered for the maximum possible grant. 

Is there anything you do not fund?

We do not give grants for:

  • professional fees
  • works outside the footprint of the church, including:
    • church halls
    • external meeting rooms and facilities
    • church grounds
    • boundary walls and fences
  • redecoration including re-gilding
  • bells
  • organs
  • clocks
  • monuments
  • brasses
  • stained glass 

The Application Process

Please note that this fund is only able to make grants to Anglican Parish Churches. The Fund is run with the support of Marshalls Charity. The Trustees will never award a grant for more than the amount requested, and so you should ask for what you need.

The same church must not reapply within 3 years of a previous grant whether successful or unsuccessful. There should be at least 1 communion service a month held at the church. Grants need to be claimed within 2 years of being awarded.

Parishes applying for the Fund must have a project which:

  • Has a positive impact on the local community
  • Takes into account the volume of other community facilities in the area

And in addition meets the following criteria:

  • Makes the building fit for identified mission and ministry needs
  • Increases accessibility, including to people with disabilities, and those with young children
  • Enables new use for a property which otherwise is at risk of closure or disrepair

If you are invited to proceed to the second stage, you will need to upload copies of the church accounts for the past three years. You may also wish to provide other documents to support your application, for example:

  • your Mission Action Plan
  • recent church newsletter
  • parish magazines 

If you meet the criteria, please complete a stage one application form. The 2018 deadline for applications is Monday 25 June. Successful applicants will be notified by the beginning of July and assisted to complete a stage two application form, with support from the Diocese.




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