SHCT Grant Application Information

The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust was founded specifically to help conserve and preserve Suffolk’s Churches and Chapels with advice and grants towards the cost of essential repairs and maintenance.  Grants are also available for other projects as described in the Grant Application Information below.

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.

How to Apply for a Grant

To apply for a Grant from the Trust, please click here to download an Application Form. Click here to download guidance notes to assist with the completion of the Application form. A different Application Form is required for an application for a grant to support a roof alarm project, it can be downloaded here. Alternatively, an application form may be obtained by telephoning, e-mailing or writing to the Trust at the address below.

Once you have completed the form you should send it, with all the supporting documents, by post to:

The Hon Grants Secretary, SHCT,
Brinkleys, Hall Street, Long Melford, Suffolk, CO10 9JR
E.  Tel: 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.

    Grant Meeting Dates:                                                    Applications by:

Monday  15th January 2018                                       Monday 1st January 2018

Monday  9th April 2018                                              Monday 26th March 2018

Monday  9th July 2018                                                Monday 25th June 2018

Monday  15th October 2018                                       Monday 1st October 2018

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

Category A – Fabric Repairs

Roofs including re-thatching, Rainwater goods as part of reroofing, Walls (not churchyard boundary walls) and buttresses, Plaster and re-decorating following work to the fabric, Re-pointing, Towers but not the provision of new bell frames or re-casting of bells, Porches, Windows 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. Roof alarm systems

Category C

Lavatories, Kitchenettes, Disability Discrimination Act work (access, handrails, hearing loops etc.), Exterior Paths, Listed Churchyard walls, Conservation of Wall­-paintings, stained glass and other conservation projects if funds allow. Anything else not included in A & B

The maximum grant to any one project is £10,000 but exceptional cases may be referred to the Trustees

The maximum grant for a Kitchen, lavatory project is currently from £3,000

The maximum grant for a Roof Alarm is £1,500

Ineligible Projects

The Trust does not normally make grants for:

  • furnishings and fittings
  • brasses and bells
  • monuments
  • organs
  • redecoration, unless needed as part of an eligible project
  • new buildings or extensions to existing buildings.


nct logo

NCT Partnership Grant Scheme

As a trusted partner of the National Churches Trust we are able to recommend some projects for NCT funding as part of the Partnership Grants Programme. Access to this funding is via our usual application procedure as above. Nationally the Partnership programme has provided over £1 million in grant funding towards repairs at churches and chapels over the last five years.

You can find out more about the National Churches Trust here and Partnership Grants here.

Elix church maintenance scheme

The Suffolk Historic Churches Trust also makes an annual grant to subsidise the Elix Church Maintenance Scheme helping towards an annual check up for church buildings. Work undertaken by the scheme’s contractor includes the cleaning of the gutters and above ground gullies and advising on any defects or works that need attention, thus helping to prevent small problems  becoming major and expensive repair work.

The Elix scheme is run by the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich but is open to churches and chapels of all denominations within Suffolk. Find out more here.

Click here to view a case study


Heritage Lottery Funding for Places of Worship

Short Brief on Relevant HLF Programmes