Synod Grants

Overview

The Synod’s emphasis is to provide grants rather than low interest loans from the income of the Church Life and Mission fund.  Grants are made for any purpose which maintains or strengthens the witness of the Church. The Synod will wish to share in the vision of the local church and its partnerships with the local community including other churches. Churches should give a clear indication of where they hope to be in 10 – 15 years time. Account is taken of the Mission of the United Reformed Church, the practical criteria arising from these three points including the Five Marks of Mission, whilst retaining sufficient flexibility to recognise special situations of local leadership and to override agreed criteria.

The Resources Committee has confirmed that it accepts Synod grant applications at the rate of 10% of project cost, reduced proportionately for ecumenical projects, but at its discretion can amend this in regard to special circumstances.  Depending upon the total funds available, the committee may need to limit grants for any projects which exceed £250,000 in total (£25,000 maximum grant).

In considering applications for grants the Synod will take account of local churches’ investments. Grants are not made for routine property maintenance.

Application Submission Date for both Trustees and Resources Meetings is three weeks before the Resources meeting - meeting dates are available on all Council and Committees pages (see tab above)

 

GRANTS

RATE

MIN

MAX

A

Property

10%

£500

 £25000

B

Personnel

10%

£500

 £25000

C

Project Facelift Survey

50%

-

D

Project Facelift

 50%

 £12000

E

 Quinquinnial Survey

50%

-

F

 Project Heritage

50%

-

£25000

G

Disabled CBF

50%

 £1000

£5000

H

Feasibility Study CBF

50%

-

£1000

Churches Building Fund Grants

THE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH - CBF Grants Guidance Notes relating to Church Building fund grants

PART I – GRANTS

  1. Disabled Facilities Grants The Resource Sharing Group is prepared to make grants available to churches that wish to provide facilities for the disabled. Grants for disabled facilities will be limited to 50% of the cost and will be subject to a maximum grant of £5,000. Where the disabled facilities form part of a larger scheme, their costs will need to be identified separately. No work on the provision of such facilities should commence until the grant has been approved. Grants will not be payable where the facilities provided cost less than £1,000, nor are they payable for VAT (see note overleaf). Grants will only be considered which have the support of the Synod.
  2. Feasibility Study Grants RSG is also prepared, in approved cases, to make grants available to churches that wish to employ professional consultants to prepare a Feasibility Study of the present and future use of their sites and premises. Such grants will be limited to 50% of the cost of the study and be subject to a maximum grant of £1,000. The Feasibility Study should not commence until the grant has been approved. Grants will only be considered where there is a clear mission stated for the church which has the support of the Synod.

PART II – GENERAL

  1. Agreed grants and loans are valid for twelve months from the date of approval. Grants and loans not taken up by the due date will be deemed to have lapsed and further application will be necessary. A one year extension may be granted on request.
  2. Synod’s decision on grants is final. Resubmitted applications will not be considered unless they show substantial evidence of having been reworked or that there are new and justifiable reasons why the application should be considered again.
  3. Approved grants will be paid to the local church after the work has been completed, on submission of the relevant invoices.

COMPLETED APPLICATION FORMS FOR GRANTS AND LOANS SHOULD BE SENT TO THE SYNOD. AN ESTIMATE OF THE WORK TO BE UNDERTAKEN AND A COPY OF THE CHURCH’S ACCOUNTS FOR THEMOST RECENT FINANCIAL YEAR, OR A STATEMENT OF ASSETS, SHOULD BE ATTACHED TO THE APPLICATION FORM. NOTE: EXTRACT FROM THE CHURCHES MAIN COMMITTEE CIRCULAR 1997/6 - ‘VALUE ADDED TAXAND THE CHURCHES (GUIDANCE NOTES REVISED 1997)’:

“iv) Aids for Handicapped Persons on Church Premises The supply of goods or services for the following works are zero-rated when carried out on existing church premises:

a) The construction of ramps, or widening doorways or passages, or widening pathways from the gate to the porch, including any preparatory work or making good, provided that the work is carried out for the purpose of facilitating a disabled person’s entry to or movement within the building.

b) The installation of a chair lift or stair lift designed for use in connection with invalid wheelchairs, and the repair or maintenance of any such lift, including work done on it to improve safety.

c) The installation of a lift in a newly built annex to a church building with independent main access,where there is also internal access from the church. Subsequent repairs and maintenance to such a lift are standard-rated.

d) The installation of an induction loop system for the use of hearing-impaired persons, and its subsequent repair and maintenance are zero-rated.(But the provision of a general public address system is standard-rated, unless it is a first-time installation in the course of construction of a new church building.)

e) The provision, extension or adaptation of a lavatory for use by a disabled person in a church building, provided that the building is used principally for church or other charitable purposes and the provision,extension, etc. is necessary to facilitate the use of the lavatory by a disabled person.”

Prepared June 2008

Facelift Grants

Project Facelift is a very generous response by the Synod which can enable a church to receive grant to assist with non-routine maintenance of their buildings.

Project Facelift can provide:

  • A grant of 50% of the cost of a full survey.
  • A grant of up to 50% of the cost of the works identified in the survey report(s) up to a maximum grant of £12,000

Download: The requirements of Project Facelift are set out in the Project Facelift Brochure

Download: Project Facelift Step by Step Guide

Heritage Grants

Project Heritage

Project Heritage was established by the Synod in 2011 recognising the need to preserve our built heritage in a context of mission outreach to the communities we serve.Heritage grant shall be made available, in a similar manner to, but in place of, Project Facelift but specifically for conservation or repair of Listed Places of Worship. The basis of Project Heritage is a Quinquennial Survey. The works identified by the Surveyor will all need to be addressed

  1. A grant of 50% of the cost of a full survey (Quinquennial), is available upon presentation of a professional Quinquennial Survey report, to the Synod Resources Officer. The report shall cover all of the properties of the Church and shall be in the format of the Synod Building Report Form (electronic copy is available).
  2. A grant of up to 50% of the cost of the works for conservation or repair identified in the survey report(s), up to a maximum grant of £25,000, is payable on completion of the works.The cost of the works including professional fees and VAT may attract this grant.

Download: Project Heritage Grants Information

Loans

Synod Loan Applications

The Synod has accumulated sums of money over the years from property sales which it holds within a specified Capital fund. These funds generate interest which is used to make grants as specified by the Finance Policy. The capital is also used to make loans to churches who need sums of money to fund building projects and the like.

Pioneer Fund Applications

SYNOD PIONEER FUND – For Significant Mission Projects

The Synod Pioneer Fund exists to support missional, pioneering, people-focused, ecumenical, risk-taking projects. The Fund is normally for projects that require a minimum grant of £100,000. Grants may not be approved which exceed the amount of unallocated funding in the Pioneer Fund Account. The criteria to be met by projects are set out in the downloadable ‘Pioneer Fund Criteria and Process Guidance Note’.

Applications for funding may be made by

  • any local church in the Eastern Synod;
  • the Synod Mission Committee (in respect of a development area);
  • the Synod Pastoral Committee (in respect of a “pioneer ministry”).Any application must have the support of the Area Partnership(s) that accommodates the application within its area of operation, the support of Synod through its various committees and the Trust Company as appropriate.

In practice a body considering a Pioneer Mission Project should, before commencing any detailed planning, contact the Resources Officer, Penelope Davies-Brown.

In accordance with the precepts of the Basis of Union preference will be given to projects of an ecumenical nature.

Each applicant body will be expected to provide

  • a clear mission statement;
  • evidence of an honest appraisal of its situation within the local community in which it will operate;
  • evidence of a full exploration of the opportunities for ecumenical cooperation;
  • confirmation of a thorough investigation of other sources of finance, or of the financial input of partner organisations;
  • a detailed and fully costed professionally prepared plan with full information on the way in which the project will be managed through its development and planning stage, its implementation and its on-going operation. Expenditure timing estimates are essential. Applicants must expect to make a personal presentation to a panel drawn from the various relevant Synod Committees as part of the process of seeking approval.

The Synod Resources and Executive Committees will monitor the project throughout and the former will report all applications and their progress to a full meeting of Synod. The Resources Committee will also advise Synod meeting when there are sufficient funds in the Pioneer Fund Account to invite new applications.

Download: Pioneer Fund Criteria and Process Guidance Note

Download: Pioneer Fund Application Form

The current Pioneer Fund balance as at 31 December 2014 - £232,635.

In practice any church considering a Pioneer Project should, before commencing any planning, contact the Resources Officer: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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