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Sustainable Church Buildings Project 2023 – 2024

The Sustainable Church Buildings Project is a Cloudesley initiative run in partnership with the Islington Deanery and the Diocese of London.

The project is running from July 2023 to December 2024. It is open to the eligible Church of England churches within the Islington Deanery. We are unable to accept applications from churches outside of this area of benefit.

The project consists of three parts: 

  • Small Grants – all eligible churches can apply for a non-competitive grant of up to £10,000 for sustainability and net zero carbon measures
  • Expert advice and support – Cloudesley has commissioned Inspired Efficiency to provide bespoke advice and support to help churches participate in this project
  • Large Grants – a small number of larger grants will be available on a competitive basis

The project builds on the 2017-18 Sustainable Church Buildings Project, and utilises the AECOM audit reports that were produced for all eligible churches as part of that Project. 

SCBP 2017-18

Churches will need to complete an online form by 30 September 2023 confirming participation in the project, providing lead contact details and giving consent for information sharing:

SCBP participation form

Small Grants

All eligible churches in the Islington Deanery can apply for a grant of up to £10,000 which must be spent within 12 months of the award date. The grant can be used for projects which will help your church reduce its carbon footprint or improve sustainability. This could be outstanding recommendations in your AECOM audit report (If you cannot locate your report, please get in touch with Cloudesley and we will provide you with a copy) or other similarly evidenced measures (For example, you may have had another environmental audit carried out since 2017/18 and want to take forward recommendations from that or from your Quinquennial Inspection report). We anticipate that the Small Grants will be used for smaller projects/works or for feasibility studies or project development for larger projects, so that a grant of £10,000 would cover all or the majority of the costs.

Before applying for a grant, churches will need to have first met with Inspired Efficiency to review their AECOM audit report – see ‘Expert advice and support’ below for more details about this. Once the review has been carried out, you can apply for a Small Grant at any time up to 31 December 2024. You can find more details about the Small Grants, including how to apply, in the Small Grants Guidelines.

Small Grants Guidelines

Once an application is submitted, assuming all the necessary information has been received, we will aim to notify you of our decision in three weeks.

This will be a non-competitive process so all eligible Islington churches will be able to access one grant each if the proposed project/works fits the eligibility criteria. Churches cannot apply for more than one Small Grant under this programme, although a grant could be for more than one item or project up to a total of £10,000.

Expert advice and support

Cloudesley has commissioned Inspired Efficiency to help churches participate in this project. The support from Inspired Efficiency comes in three main parts:

  • A review of your AECOM audit, including an online meeting with your church to review actions and progress and to provide updated advice. This is likely to be in Autumn 2023. A short note will then be provided to append to the AECOM original report, highlighting completed actions and updates
  • Up to seven hours of bespoke project development support. This can be used flexibly depending on the needs of your church, but might include development of project proposals and specifications, or obtaining quotes and identifying contractors. Inspired Efficiency will work alongside the church team, including the church architect, aiming to leave embedded knowledge and confidence in decarbonisation measures
  • If recommended, an onsite decarbonisation audit might also be carried out. This will include a review of energy consumption, an onsite audit, advice on decarbonisation measures and more energy efficient behaviours and procedures, and an action plan with estimated costs and savings.

Inspired Efficiency

Cloudesley Trustees have also agreed funding for Inspired Efficiency to undertake 3D scanning of the eligible churches, providing a 3D model of the building. If you decide to go ahead with this, you will be able to use the 3D model to enable virtual tours of the church, allow for online measurement of any aspect of the building and generate scaled floor plans for use in project development and faculty applications.

For reference, a flowchart outlining the support available from Inspired Efficiency can be found below.

Large Grants

Through this project, Cloudesley is also providing a small number of Large Grants (over £10,000 and up to £65,000). The funding process for the Large Grants runs alongside the Spring 2024 main church funding round, with churches being able to apply to both funds at the same time. This means that successful churches could benefit from both a Large SCBP Grant and a Spring 2024 grant towards a single sustainability project. The deadline for applications is 5pm on Monday, April 15, 2024.

Large Grants guidelines

Monitoring and learning

Cloudesley is keen to understand the impact of its funding and share learning from the grants agreed as part of this project. To help with this, churches which receive a Small Grant through this project will be asked to provide a brief report once the funded project/works have been completed.

For the Large Grants, specific monitoring requirements will be agreed depending on the nature of the funded project.  


If you have questions about any aspect of the Sustainable Church Buildings Project and/or require any additional support with making an application, please contact your Grants Manager:  

Grants Manager

Contact details

Catherine Sorrell 
Kevin Turner


Inspired Efficiency Flowchart

Flowchart showing how 'completing the online form confirming your participation in the process' leads to 'Cloudesley will send your AECOM report to Inspired Efficiency for review' leads to 'Inspired Efficiency will contact you directly to arrange a meeting to discuss the report' leads to 'Inspired Efficiency produce an update note for appending to the AECOM report' leads to 'You can now access up to seven hours of bespoke project development from Inspired Efficiency' leads to 'If recommended, a decarbonisation audit may be carried out' and 'If wanted, a 3D model of the church can be created'.