Cornerstone grants

Status : Open

Next deadline : 7th November 2022 (2023 deadlines and decision dates are currently TBC and will be announced as soon as possible)

Decision date : March 2023

Grant size : £10,000 to £50,000*

Works cost : Over £100,000 for urgent repairs; over £30,000 for facilities

The Cornerstone Grant Programme offers our largest grants of between £10,000 and £50,000 towards the cost of major urgent structural repair projects costed at more than £100,000 including VAT.

*grants of £40,000 to £50,000 are extremely limited and reserved for cases which demonstrate a very high case for investment.

We will also consider projects that introduce kitchens and accessible toilets to enable increased community use, costed at more than £30,000 including VAT. Grants will never exceed 50% of the project cost.

Please watch our video to find out more about our Cornerstone Grants Programme

More information for applicants

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?
  • If the annual income in the accounts is over £100,000 is the building registered with the Charity Commission, or can you evidence that registration is in process?
  • 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 signed by the Chancellor) 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)

Before applying - please read the Guidance Note below. The Guidance contains important information 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.

Guidance notes

Please read the Guidance Note in full before applying

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 will not be made between meetings, and deadlines are not flexible.

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.

This also means that we can not guarantee that a successful application will be offered a grant at the size requested. In 2021 the average grant size was in the region of £13,000. 

Very few of the largest grant requests will be successful at the level requested. Those requesting at the top end will need to demonstrate an exceptional case for investment. The largest grant in recent years has been £40,000.


Ready to apply?

Before starting your application, please make sure you have read the guidance notes for your grant and that you meet the eligibility criteria for churches.

Application form