Funding and VAT
This page gives details of funding for repairs and developing your church for wider community use, along with information about VAT.
Developing your church for wider community use
The Social Responsibility pages of the diocesan website include useful links to funding and parishes will find Grantnet particularly useful. The Churchcare website includes a great deal of advice on funding and resources available from national organisations for community projects. Most of the diocese (apart from north Wirral and the Knutsford area) is covered by Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) which makes grants to community projects with funding from landfill tax.
Advice on setting up a friends' scheme is available from the Diocese of Canterbury and from Parish Resources. Such schemes can be a very useful way of raising the profile of your church, involving the wider community and generating income. Do consider the available case studies.
Repairs to church fabric
There are many potential grant-making bodies who can be approached for funding for historic buildings and/or development of any church building for community use. Please use our links page to access local websites. See also the section on VAT below, as funding to cover VAT can be a significant help to a parish scheme.
The Historic Cheshire Churches Preservation Trust is a non-denominational body which has given grants of up to £10,000 for such work as general church repairs, tower repairs, roofs, lych gates, stained glass windows, organs, disabled access and toilet facilities. Their website gives full details including examples of recent grants.
English Heritage is a great assistance to many churches, advising teh Heritage Lottery Fund on suitable causes for financial assistance.
Waste Recycling Environmental Limited (WREN) gives grants for conservation and heritage projects in addition to its wider remit of supporting community projects. awards grants for conservation and heritage projects as well as aw
The British Institute of Organ Studies gives details of sources of funding for pipe organs of historic importance.
There is guidance available from the Church Buildings Council about the sale of treasures covering communion plate, furnishings and works of art of historical importance. This is a potentially very sensitive subject, particularly where items may have been given in memory of people or are in some other way closely connected with the history of the church. Any parish considering such sales should consider this guidance very carefully.
The available official guidance is VAT Notice 708 - Buildings and Construction. Sections 9 and 14.7 are particularly relevant to churches. Additional information relating to disabled access is available under VAT Notice 701/7.
The Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme makes grants towards the VAT incurred in making repairs to listed buildings mainly used for public worship. The scope of the scheme was widened in October 2012 to include various development works such as toilets and kitchens. The full range of work covered is now set out in an LPWG guidance_note. The LPWG website includes details of application deadlines and total funding for the scheme. Additional information is available from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). Please also see the DAC update as at February 2013 which includes the telephone number of the LPWG helpline.
VAT changes in 2012 Budget
The Government decided to impose 20% VAT on alterations to listed church buildings, details here. However, arrangements have since been been made to provide a capped sum available for VAT relating to listed churches - details available from Church of England news.
Detail: see Pages 26-7 of the Government consultation document VAT: addressing borderline anomalies.