Heritage organisations

National Churches Trust

The National Churches Trust, under the patronage of Her Majesty the Queen, is the only national, independent, non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting and supporting church buildings of historic, architectural and community value across the UK.

The National Churches Trust was founded in 2007 as the successor to the Historic Churches Preservation Trust (HCPT). The HCPT was founded in 1953 to restore architecturally and historically significant parish churches.

We advocate:

  • The use of church buildings by congregations and the wider community not just as places of worship but as venues for social, cultural and educational activities.
  • The conservation of places of worship of historic value for the use and enjoyment of future generations.

Areas of interest

The Trust, which is independent of government and church authorities:

  • Provides grants for the restoration and modernisation of church buildings.
  • Supports projects that integrate churches fully into their local communities and enable buildings to be kept open.
  • Collaborates closely with local Churches Trusts and local volunteer networks across the UK in their support for local churches.
  • Encourages good management and regular maintenance of church buildings by providing practical advice, support and information.
  • Works to increase awareness by the public and among decision-makers and opinion formers of the value of places of worship.

The National Churches Trust supports a wide variety of projects through our Grant Programmes.   Funding is a very important issue for those caring for places of worship.  Most people are unaware that the running costs and repair bills for places of worship are not paid for by denominational bodies, church authorities or the state.  Paying a large repair bill or introducing basic facilities (such as toilets, a kitchen or even running water) is a challenge, especially as those who care for these public buildings are usually volunteers.   Whether through repairing a roof or helping to install an accessible toilet, our grants help people to continue to serve and to better serve their local communities.    We will consider applications from listed and unlisted places of worship across the UK.  We try to help a number of projects each year, by offering grants towards the cost of major projects. 

Repair Grants

Our Repair Grants help places of worship to become wind and watertight. We concentrate on the most urgent structural repairs and give grants of between £10,000 and £40,000 to projects with estimated costs of at least £50,000.

Community Grants

Our Community Grants help towards the cost of installing essential facilities, such as kitchens and toilets, improving access for people with special needs/disabilities. These mean that places of worship can be used by more people, thereby providing benefits for congregations, local people and visitors. We can give grants of between £5,000 and £25,000.

Partnership Grants

We work with Local Churches Trusts in targeting grants of £2,500 to £10,000 for urgent repair projects with estimated costs of less than £50,000. We aim to increase the grant giving capacity of the national network of independent Local Churches Trusts and to benefit from their local knowledge and expertise. Applications for these grants should be made direct to the Local Churches Trusts.