TWO-THIRDS of churches have had to pull out of a community project because of a lack of funding, a survey by the charity Christians against Poverty (CAP) suggests.
The charity conducted a survey of 100 churches around the country, and found that 64 per cent of them were not able to continue with a project because they didn’t have access to funds. Eighty per cent of the churches asked had no income coming in other than that given by their congregations.
CAP’s local funding officer, Sam Healey, offers funding advice to churches. She said: “Put simply this is wrong. There are many ways in which churches can increase their income. Finance should not limit the vision that God has put in your heart for your community.
“With training from CAP and one-to-one support for church leaders, we have been able to help our local partners raise in excess of £1.5 million for themselves since 2015. The money is out there. It’s just a case of learning how to tap into it.”
She said that she encouraged churches to “think outside the box” when it came to funding.
“The best place to start looking for grants is ‘Funding Central’, because it has a great search engine and most of the research work is done for you. ‘Funding Central’ will give you about 4000 grants that you can apply to straight away; this includes the Co-op, the National Lottery, and the Cinnamon Network.”
After its survey, CAP opened up its funding training-day to churches that do not currently run one of its four core services: debt centres, job clubs, release groups, and life skills.
Churches that have won funding since attending the training day include St Peter’s, Bishopsworth, near Bristol, which received £50,000 from the Cory Environmental Trust towards setting up a day nursery, plus a start-up grant from the Cinnamon Network for its job club.