Guidance Note to Applicants


The Buckinghamshire Historic Churches Trust (’the Trust’) awards grants, totaling up to around £60,000 annually, towards the repair and preservation of Historic Churches in the County.

Set out below is an outline description of the nature, scale and location of repair work that we consider would qualify for a grant and the process of preparing and submitting applications.

Applying for a Grant

Contact the Secretary for a Grant Application Form.

Historic Churches

‘Historic Churches’ are those churches, chapels or places of worship that are either more than 100 years old or are otherwise of particular architectural or historical interest.

General Scope of Grants

The Trust will consider applications for grants from ‘Historic Churches’ of all denominations in the Buckingham Archdeaconry, for the preservation, repair, maintenance and upkeep of the fabric.

Buckingham Archdeaconry

The Buckinghamshire Archdeaconry includes the areas administered by Buckinghamshire Council, Milton Keynes Borough Council and Slough Borough Council and the Trust will consider applications from any church within the area of the Archdeaconry of Buckingham. A full list of parishes within the Buckingham Archdeaconry can be found in the Diocese of Oxford website.

Preservation and Repair Work

Whilst each application will be considered on its merits, most grants that are awarded relate to work associated with the repair of roofs, external stonework and rainwater disposal systems, for which a Faculty and/or planning consent has been granted or, where necessary, are being applied for.

Consideration may also be given to the approval of grants towards the preliminary cost of investigations required by other grant giving bodies.

Professional Supervision

The Trust expects that before embarking upon an application, applicants will have taken advice from a suitable qualified professional, typically an architect or surveyor accredited in building conservation.

General Exclusions

Generally, work of the following nature will not qualify for grants from the Trust:

  • Repairs to bells, bell frames, organs
  • Fixtures and furnishings
  • Work associated with installation or repair of heating, electrical and lighting systems
  • Redecoration work, whether occasioned by other qualifying repairs or not
  • Churchyard structures
  • Work associated with the installation of kitchen facilities and lavatories.

Grants are not normally awarded for work which has already been carried out, although there may be exceptions in the case of work that is required to be done in response to emergency repairs.

Procedure for Obtaining Grants
Initial Approach

It is expected that an application for a grant will be undertaken under the auspices of a Parochial Church Council or similar body, in churches of other denominations.

The applicant will begin the process by applying to the Secretary of the Trust, who will provide an application form upon receipt of an expressions of interest, which can be submitted here.

The completed application form will also normally require the following supplementary information:

  • Copy of DAC, Denomination, Authority or Statutory Approval
  • Specification and Schedule of works
  • Estimate of work or schedule with itemised prices
  • Drawings or photographs of necessary works
  • Other photographs in support of the application.

The Inspection Committee will consider applications submitted on or before one of the following dates (‘Application Deadline’). for recommendation to the Trustees at their next meeting:

The deadline for application submissions are available on request.

Inspection Committee

Following receipt of the grant applications they will undergo an initial review by members of the Inspection Committee and if they are judged to qualify for a grant, a visit will usually be arranged to inspect the areas of the proposed works and validate the application.

These visits will normally take place during the third week, following the Application Deadline.

Notification of Outcome

Following the visit by the Inspection Committee, a recommendation will be made to the Trustees at their next meeting, that will typically be six weeks after the Application Deadline. If approved, the applicant will be notified accordingly and supplied with the details of how to claim the grant. These claims will normally be based on invoices or payment certificates approved by the professional supervisor.

Timescale for Claiming Grants

The Trust expects the funds that have been awarded for a grant to be claimed, in full, within two years of the date on which the successful grant application was notified to the applicant, unless there are extenuating circumstances.

Completion of the Works

Within one month of the completion of the work that are the subject of the grant, the applicant will be required to provide photographic and other documentary evidence to the Secretary that the works are complete and permit an inspection by a representative of the Trust.

It is a condition of the grant that Trust can refer to it in its Annual Report or on our website including reproducing any photographs of the works either before, during or upon completion.


It is a condition of receiving a grant that a high-resolution digital image of the church will be provided by the applicant, which may be reproduced in the Trust’s Annual Report and which shall include permission from the photographer and any people who appear in the picture.


It will be a condition of applying for and receiving grants from the Trust that the applicant will accept the terms of its Privacy Notice, which will include acceptance of the use of Dropbox for the submission of applications and supporting information.

How much may we expect to receive if our application is successful?2022-01-17T13:18:46+00:00

The amount of each grant will have regard to the scale of the proposed repairs, although grants of up to £10,000 are normally considered.

CLICK HERE for a list of churches that the Trust has previously supported.
Do you offer any other types of grants?2022-01-17T13:32:30+00:00

The Trust occasionally award grants, administered by the Archdeacon, to Church of England churches, for the installation of alarms to aid the prevention of theft of lead from church roofs.

Consideration may also be given to the approval of grants towards the preliminary cost of investigative work.

What happens if we cannot claim out grant within two years?2022-01-17T13:43:52+00:00

If the grant cannot be claimed within two years of it being awarded, for reasons that are outside the control of the applicant such as being due to delays securing planning consent, Faculties or party-wall agreement, the Trustees may consider granting an extension of up to a further twelve months.

The details of the process for securing an extension under these circumstances can be obtained from the Secretary; however, it will require the applicant to make a formal submission and demonstrate that the delay is not a result of a failure on the part of the applicant.

Are there any other sources of funding available for work of this nature?2022-01-17T13:53:44+00:00

A list of alternative funding sources can be accessed here

If our church requires some emergency work, owing to damage, is there anything that you can do to help us?2022-01-17T13:45:13+00:00

Under certain circumstances the Trust may provide funding for work of this nature and if this is required a request should be made to the Secretary in the first instance.

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