SHCT Grant Application Information

The SuffolkHistoric Churches Trust was founded specifically to help conserve and preserve Suffolk’s Churches and Chapels of all denominations with advice and grants towards the cost of essential repairs and maintenance.

To be eligible for a grant the church or chapel must be within the County of Suffolk and in regular use as a place of worship. Each year the Trust helps between 40 and 50 places of worship of all denominations and ages.  The Grants Committee is also able to advise churches on other sources of grant aid.

Scroll down this page to download an application form and guidance notes. If you prefer to fill in the form on a computer choose the word version of the application form which can then be sent with the supporting documents as attachments to an e-mail to for the attention of the Grants Secretary.

Alternatively the application form can be completed by hand and sent with the supporting documents by post. Further details can be found in the Guidance Notes which will assist you in filling in the application form

word version link

pdf version link

Guidance notes link

Application forms and guidance notes may also be obtained from the SHCT Office by  e-mail:  or telephone: 01787 883884


Grants Committee Meetings are held four times a year and the applications are normally required at least three weeks prior to the meeting (earlier when bank holidays intervene) to allow time for any queries to be sorted out prior to the meeting.  Failure to meet the deadlines below may result in the application having to be deferred to the next Grants meeting.

Grants Committee 2022

Meeting Dates:                                                       Applications by:

Monday 17th January                                                        Monday 27th December 2021

Monday 11th April                                                               Monday 21st March

Monday 11th July                                                                 Monday 20th June

Monday 24th October                                                          Monday 3rd October

Projects for which the Trust may Grant Funds

Funds may be granted towards the cost of preservation, repair, maintenance and improvement of churches and chapels within Suffolk. To be eligible for a grant the Trust requires that:

  • The recipient church must be in use as a public place of worship
  • The church faces a shortfall of funds to complete the project for which funds are sought
  • Recipient churches must be open or readily accessible to the public
  • The church believes it will be able to raise the remaining funds needed
  • The project has not started; applications for retropective work are not considered

Category A – Fabric Repairs

Roofs including re-thatching, Rainwater goods, Walls (not churchyard boundary walls) and buttresses, Plaster and re-decorating following work to the fabric, Tower repairs but not the provision of new bell frames or re-casting of bells, Porches, Window stonework and glass/lead repairs but not conservation of stained glass.

Category B

Liturgical reordering, other re-ordering e.g. repair/removal of pews and choir stalls to make space for social/concert use, Electrical work including lighting and replacement heating, Replacement heating boilers, Repairs to solid flooring.

Category C

Lavatories, Kitchenettes, Disability Discrimination Act work (access, handrails, hearing loops etc. including exterior paths,), Listed Churchyard walls (emergency repairs only), Conservation of Wall­-paintings, stained glass and other conservation projects only if funds allow.

The maximum grant to any one project is £10,000 subject to funds being available but exceptional cases may be referred to the Trustees. The maximum grant for a Kitchen/WC project is currently £3,000


In 2015 the SHCT launched an initiative to subsidise the installation of roof alarms in churches to help prevent lead theft.  This scheme is now being repeated as the initial project was successful, however there was by no means universal cover and sporadic thefts continue.

There are many churches with a relatively small amount of lead such as a porch, vestry or aisle who did not think it worth alarming however the thieves think it is worth taking especially as the main roofs are now usually alarmed so the problem has not gone away.

SHCT has teamed up again with E-Bound, an Ecclesiastical Insurance approved alarm installer, in order to secure more of the smaller lead roofs and the remaining larger ones.  This is fully supported by the Diocese.

SHCT will subsidise the installation of an alarm by granting half of the cost up to a maximum of £2,500.  This is a time limited offer depending on funds kindly provided by the Lord Belstead Trust and the Allchurches Trust (now known as Benefact).

Ineligible Projects (N.B. some of the items below may come within the critera for a 2022 Jubilee Grant more details via tab on the top menu)

The Trust does not normally make grants for the following items

  • furnishings and fittings
  • brasses and bells
  • monuments
  • organs
  • redecoration, unless needed as part of an eligible project
  • new buildings or extensions to existing buildings
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is heritage-fund.jpg

Applications have re-opened for National Lottery Grants for Heritage from £3,000 to £5million. This marks a return to our core business, but it is not a return to ‘business as usual’

The East of England is part of the Midlands and East Area and Places of Worship should contact the Cambridge Office; please note revised contact details below:

The impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic means we have revised our approach to what we will fund. We have created a supplementary document that sets out our Priorities for National Lottery Grants for Heritage for 2021-22. This is a formal part of the programme guidance until April 2022.

Telephone: 01223 645938 (Monday to Friday, 9am–5pm)

National Lottery Heritage Fund East of England
CB1 Business Centre
20 Station Road, Cambridge, CB1 2JD

N.B.  Churches considering applying for lottery funding are strongly advised to inform the SHCT Grants Committee via or this website




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