Cornerstone Grants - Apply


The Cornerstone Grant Programme can award grants ranging between £10,000 and £50,000 towards urgent structural repair projects, or the introduction of kitchens and accessible toilets.

To qualify, repair projects must have an estimated cost of at least £100,000 (including VAT and fees). The Trust will consider applications for the installation of kitchen and toilet facilities costing in excess of £30,000. Eligible projects must include one of these criteria.

Eligibility criteria

We will consider applications from listed and unlisted Christian places of worship, of any denomination, across the UK. We continue to encourage applications from our priority areas - North East England, Northern Ireland and Wales, this is not to the exclusion of churches in other areas.

The application process begins with an eligibility quiz. If you cannot answer yes to each question your application will not be successful.

The questions include:

  • Is yours a Christian place of worship (but not a cathedral) within the UK, and open for at least six services of public worship each year?
  • Do you own the building or have the right to carry out the work? If the church is not part of a major denomination then is the denomination registered with Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, or has it got charitable status?
  • Was your place of worship built as a place of worship originally and is it more than 30 years old? And are the works proposed either directly to the building or attached to it?
  • Is the building open to the public for a minimum of 100 days a year beyond worship use, or will it be following project completion?
  • Is your total project cost estimated at over £100,000 (including VAT and fees) if the project is for repair work, or over £30,000 if it is for the installation of kitchen and accessible toilet facilities?
  • Have you already raised at least 50% of the total project cost?
  • Is the project being led by a qualified professional, with conservation accreditation from a recognised institution if it is a listed building? (please review the guidance note for details of recognised institutions)
  • Have you got all necessary permissions approved and in place before applying? (e.g. full Faculty approval) This includes those from your governing body and your local planning authority if planning permission and/or listed building consent is also required.
  • Is the project yet to start (we don't accept applications for projects that have already started before applying)

How to apply

Before applying - be sure to first read the Guidance Note below. The Guidance contains notes on the scoring criteria, advice on completing the application form, a list of supporting documents that will be required from you, and details of the terms and conditions of any grant award made etc. Please note there may be some small revisions to the guidance note for 2020 funding, please revisit the guidance note before applying.


Please read the Guidance Note in full before applying

The next deadline will be 4 November 2019 for a decision in March 2020.


Subsequent deadlines will be 2 March 2020 for a decision in July 2020 and 6 July 2020 for a decision in November 2020. 


Decisions on all grant applications are made by our Grants Committee, comprised of experts from the church and heritage sectors, which meets three times a year. Ineligible applications will be notified 6 weeks from the deadline date. All other decisions will only be notified following a Grants Committee meeting. Decisions can not be amended between meetings.

Unfortunately the amount of funding available is limited. Therefore we sadly cannot guarantee your success, and can only offer grants towards a small proportion of the many deserving projects which we are asked to support each round. We strongly encourage you to apply for as many other grants as possible and to start local fundraising as early as you can. For more funding sources and fundraising advice please click here.

This also means that we can not always offer the size of grant that you request. In recent years, the average grant towards installation of facilities was in the region of £10,000, whilst the average grant towards repairs was £20,000.

We can only accept applications submitted online.

THE LINK TO THE APPLICATION FORM IS CURRENTLY CLOSED (it will be live by the end of August)

In the meantime you can review the 2019 questions here - we expect any changes to be minimal.

To find out about the recent changes we have made to our grant programmes see here.

You can can also explore the Building Advice pages for information on other funding sources and local fundraising including Friends Groups.

Review some case studies or see which other places of worship have been awarded one of our grants on our grants map.