Making an impact across the UK and Ireland
Alongside its open grants programmes, Benefact Trust currently provides an annual grant to dioceses and cathedrals across the UK and Ireland.
In recent years, our annual grants have helped support a range of activities that are focused on social action, enhancing community engagement, ministry, mission, musical and schools outreach and much more.
In the Diocese of Coventry for example, our recurrent grant is funding a Director of Regeneration, Jet Jones, to spearhead a range of social impact projects making a huge difference to disadvantaged communities through Together for Change Coventry and Warwickshire (TfC) – a partnership between the diocese and Church Urban Fund (CUF).
In January 2020, Jet’s most recent project came to fruition with the opening of phase one of Saints – a landmark building in Nuneaton that is being transformed to provide a range of support to families and young people, particularly those struggling to make ends meet, and remove barriers to them building a brighter future.
Canterbury Cathedral is using its grant from Benefact Trust to give four outstanding early-career singers the chance to develop their musical talents at the cathedral. The Choral Scholars will sing at services and events but also undertake outreach work with the many communities the cathedral serves.
The Diocese of London uses the Trust’s recurrent grant to fund clergy members for a number of parishes and churches in areas of high need, including St Paul’s and the Good Shepherd in Hounslow West – one of around 2,000 churches and charities throughout the UK that now runs a food bank, alongside a community café and providing debt advice and access to representatives from local social services.
Other dioceses and cathedrals spend their annual grant on capital projects or equipment and the Trust particularly welcomes its grant being used to fund work that will improve accessibility and encourage community use of buildings, but also to support environmental projects that improve energy efficiency and help to combat the effects of climate change.
St Paul’s Cathedral is using its Benefact Trust annual grant towards a two-step project to improve accessibility at the cathedral. St Paul’s has just built a permanent ramped entrance, the second phase includes building a new porch within the North Transept which will enable easy access for all visitors, irrespective of their physical ability.
Our annual grants to dioceses are allocated based on population and the degree of deprivation in the area, with the aim of ensuring that more money goes to those areas that need it most.
Each year, both dioceses and cathedrals are required to report back on how they have spent their recurrent grant and the impact it has had, and tell us how they intend to spend the next year’s funding.