National Churches Trust - Gateway Grants Programme 2019-2023

Status:  Open to applications

Application Deadline: 10 January 2019


Grants are available for listed and unlisted Christian places of worship of any denomination in the UK to support developing a church building project.


Maximum Value: £ 10,000
Minimum Value: £ 3,000

Value Notes

Grants of between £3,000 and £10,000 are available.

Extended Description

The National Churches Trust supports church and chapel buildings open for worship throughout the UK. It funds urgent repairs and modernisation, provides expert advice on church maintenance and on how churches can continue to serve local communities and promote church heritage and tourism.

The National Churches Trust has launched its new grants programme in line with the Trust's new strategy for 2019-2023.

The funding is for projects which can demonstrate how they meet the outcome in line with the new strategy:

  • Preserving heritage.
  • Promoting sustainability.
  • Inspiring support.

The Gateway Grants programme is primarily intended to support churches preparing for a major project, and in developing their project to the point at which they can approach a major grant funder. However, some funding will be directed to local church trusts for strategic or capacity building projects.

Latest Information


Applications are considered three times a year. The 2019 deadlines for applications are 10 January 2019, 9 May 2019 and 12 September 2019.

Key Criteria

Places of worship of any Christian denomination and age can apply.

Applications will be considered from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship across the UK.

Applications from the Trust’s priority areas are encouraged: North East England, Northern Ireland and Wales, though this is not to the exclusion of churches in other areas.

To be eligible, applicants must demonstrate that:

  • The building is a Christian place of worship (but not a cathedral) within the UK, and open for at least six services of public worship each year.
  • They own the building or have the right to carry out the work. If the church is not part of a major denomination, then the denomination must be registered with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland or have charitable status.
  • The place of worship was built as a place of worship originally and is more than 30 years old.
  • The works must be to the main church building either directly part of the building or attached to it.
  • The building is open to the public for a minimum of 100 days a year beyond worship use.
  • Have already raised at least 50% of the total project cost.
  • The project has not yet started.
  • The project is being led by a qualified professional, with conservation accreditation from a recognised institution if it is a listed building.
  • Have two quotes in place for each element of the work in the application.
  • Have any necessary permissions in place.

Eligible Expenditure

The funding is to be used for project development and investigative work up to RIBA planning stage 1, to support churches preparing for a major project, and in developing their project to the point at which they can approach a major grant funder.

Some grants will also be awarded to local church trusts for strategic or capacity building projects.

Match funding Restrictions

Match funding of at least 50% is required. Applicants should have already raised 50% of the total project cost.


Funding is not available for the following:

  • Buildings that have been converted into places of worship, such as shops, offices or houses.
  • Chapels within hospitals, hospices, schools or prisons or other such institutions.
  • Projects that have started before the application was submitted.
  • Construction of new places of worship or separate structures.
  • Works to cathedral buildings.
  • Works to buildings that were not originally constructed as a place of worship.
  • Works to an existing building that is separate from the existing place of worship (even if it is on the same site, a church hall, or owned by the church).
  • Works required due to negligence.
  • Repairs to, or scheduled maintenance of boilers, clocks, organs, wall paintings, bells, monuments, fittings and fixtures and solar panels.
  • Reordering, lighting, electricity, and AV.
  • Works to boundary walls, paths, churchyards, churchyard monuments or car parks.
  • Stained glass restoration (unless urgent repairs to window structure, or the building is no longer watertight).
  • Construction of new places of worship or church halls.

Application Procedure

Guidance notes and the online application form can be found on the Trust's website.

Contact The National Churches Trust for further information.

Addresses and contacts

Application forms may be available to download their website.
Contact details:
The National Churches Trust 
7 Tufton Street 
020 7222 0605