Small loans and grants

Each Archdeaconry (Area) in London holds a limited amount of money to assist parishes in the form of grants and interest free loans. There is usually a cap of £20,000 per grant and £20,000 per loan application.

As each Area allocates this money in different ways your first point of contact should be your Area Finance Adviser who will be able to provide a schedule of deadlines for applications, relating to the dates of Area Council meetings. The Area Council makes the final agreement on awards, and also has procedures to enable them to deal with urgent requests.

Forms may vary from Area to Area but you may be asked to provide:

  • a copy of your most recent Examined/Audited annual accounts and report
  • your current Mission Action Plan
  • proof that your Common Fund payments are up-to-date
  • an outline of the purpose of your application

The Area Finance Adviser will write in formal confirmation and the PCC will need to sign an agreement that specifies the details of the award. Where a grant and loan have been awarded together they will usually be drawn in parallel. Information about any loan repayment will be included in the letter. Typically repayments of the interest free loans begin six months to one year after the loan is first drawn and are spread over two further years. Repayments are collected through the Direct Debit system.

Large loans

Loans for sums up to about £200,000 may be applied for. These are interest bearing (usually 2% above base rate) and typically need to be repaid over 5 years or less.

For longer term loans e.g. for a mortgage on housing for assistant clergy, parishes are advised to approach other lenders who are familiar with churches and charities. A list is available here.

Below are the current terms and criteria for loans:

  • Loans are usually for between £20,000 and £200,000
  • Repayment is over 5 years or less
  • An interest rate of variable base rate +2% to be normally applied, however a higher rate may be applied for loan with a higher risk profile.
  • Priority will be given to applications
    • where the Diocesan element of the overall funding is low relative to the overall funding requirement;
    • for urgent building work especially if related to health and safety issues;
    • for short term financing, such as bridging loans;
    • to projects that will make a financial profit or at least break-even;
  • There must be clear evidence and commitment that the parish can and will continue to meet its current and future common fund obligations during the loan repayment period.
  • All applications need the support of the relevant Archdeacon.

Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme

The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme gives grants in respect of VAT incurred in respect of repairs and maintenance to listed (grade 1, grade II* and grade II) church buildings. It does not cover repairs and maintenance to unlisted churches or any halls or other building owned by PCC.

There are full details including notes on what work is eligible and how to apply for the grant. There is no guarantee that the full amount of VAT will be reimbursed as the amount of funds available for grants is limited, but generally the level of claims is below the amount available and eligible grants have been paid in full.

Looking for grants for clergy?

Information on grants for clergy and their households can be found on this webpage.