Skip to main content

Funding exclusions, definitions and legal advice

Funding Exclusions

During the 2020-25 Grants Programme, funding will not be provided for:

  • The repayment of loans
  • Stipends for clergy and salary costs for other members of the ministry team
  • Housing
  • Utility bills and cleaning
  • Projects or work already completed, underway or contractually committed before a grant decision is reached
  • Building repair work to structures other than the church building or hall within the curtilage of the church unless they affect access to the church building.


The relevant provision in the Charity’s Governing Scheme is:

“The Trustees shall apply the other half of the residue of the said yearly income in making grants … toward the upkeep and repair of the fabric of, and the maintenance of services, in … churches of the Church of England in the area of the London Borough of Islington”

Cloudesley has received advice about this and particularly in relation to the four areas highlighted. In carrying out its programme the charity seeks to be as flexible as possible in meeting the needs of the churches that apply and this section summarises the charity’s present position on these points.

It is emphasised that every application will be analysed on its facts and the specific situation of the applicant church. Cloudesley will try to directly resolve any uncertainties which it can with any church.

 “Church of England church” includes the churches within the parish system and other premises which have been authorised under church legislation. In case of doubt, the charity will seek the advice of the Church of England authorities.

“Fabric of the church” will be interpreted narrowly to mean the building of the church, or a church hall which is used at least partly for public Church of England worship, and excludes other structures within their grounds. This means that subject to what is said below we will not normally be able to make grants for the maintenance of boundary walls, paths and forecourts.

The term “upkeep and repair” is also quite restrictive. This term does not include works which create something of value beyond that which is remedial or restorative. In essence, works which give effect to improvements are not covered. There are many major projects (even those which include substantial improvements or elements which are outside “upkeep and repair”) which include significant works which are clearly within “upkeep and repair”. Also, in many cases the elements which are outside may be eligible for support because they can be justified under the “maintenance of services” heading (e.g. because of reducing costs or increasing income).

“Maintenance of Services” includes the costs of running the church and related costs of providing the services of Church of England worship.

Legal Advice

The following table sets out how this advice might be applied in certain specific types of application. However, it is stressed that each application will have to be considered on its facts. Please contact the charity’s office in the first instance for initial guidance.


“upkeep and repair”

“maintenance of services”

Reordering of the internal usage of a church


Yes, if the development assists with the maintenance of services by providing a better, more workable space for worship. Many projects of this kind will also include an element of “upkeep and repair” and grants may be focussed on these aspects

Putting in toilets


Yes (if the toilets are intended for use by those attending church services)

Improving disability access such as by changing access to the church



Blocking off areas for offices/crèche/café


Yes, provided the offices, crèche and café are connected to the provision of church services (e.g. the offices are to be used by the vicar and his/her assistants, the café is to be used for the refreshment of those attending church services and the crèche is to be used by the children of worshippers)

Kitchen used for refreshment of those attending church services



Boundary wall that does not affect access




Boundary wall or path that is making it unsafe or impossible for those attending church services to access church


Probably, but it is likely to depend very much on the facts

Forecourt and paths connected to the church


Not normally

Church steps


Installation of solar panels or other equipment which is expected to lead to a material reduction of running costs



In any case where a church is uncertain about how this advice may apply, particularly where the issue is of the kind covered in the table, the church should contact the charity’s office as soon as possible before making an application.