Allchurches Trust is one of the UK’s largest grant-making trusts

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About Us

At the heart of our grant-giving is helping people and communities most in need. Our grants further our charitable objectives of promoting the Christian faith and supporting other charitable causes. We welcome applications from all parts of the UK and Ireland, particularly from areas of social and economic deprivation.

We support the repair, restoration and re-ordering of churches and cathedrals of all denominations, especially where these changes are aimed at encouraging wider community use and helping those in need.

We support churches and charities addressing homelessness, poverty and loneliness, along with many other social issues.

We support schools, colleges and others who nurture young people and help them to reach their potential.

We’re passionate about preserving the UK’s rich heritage.

We are an independent charity regulated by the Charity Commission.

Our funds come from our ownership of the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, a specialist insurance and financial services company.

Since we were founded in 1972, we’ve given grants exceeding a total of £171 million.

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Our values are rooted in our Christian heritage. We pay particular regard in our grant-making to the needs of those who are disadvantaged, for whatever reason.

Our aim over the years ahead is steadily to increase both the amount we give and the range of good causes we give to.

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Our History

Allchurches Trust was founded in 1972 as a registered charity, regulated by the Charity Commission. We owe our existence to the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group, a commercial insurance company whose aim is and has always been to give its profits back to society.

Ecclesiastical’s origins go back to the philanthropic intentions of a group of Victorian businessmen, MPs and clerics. They were determined, after a series of high profile fires had left parishes with ruined churches and no means of restoring them, that there should be a reliable insurance service for parishes in their time of need.

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In 1887 an independent business, the Ecclesiastical Buildings Fire Office, was founded by two MPs, three clergymen, a barrister and a clerk of the House of Lords and its directors comprised five clerics and five laymen. Though it was a thoroughly modern and commercial venture, the intention was never to generate private wealth. So when, through good business acumen, profits started to accrue, the decision was taken to donate this money to charity in the form of grants.

Ecclesiastical’s business grew. The expertise it built up through insuring churches and the charitable activities that went on in them allowed it to expand into insuring other large, complex, historic buildings. Soon Ecclesiastical was insuring country houses and private schools and all kinds of different charities.

Profits and grant-making also increased until, in 1972, Ecclesiastical’s ownership was transferred to a separate grant-making trust, Allchurches Trust, an independent charity. To this day the Trust continues to dispense profits from Ecclesiastical to promote the Christian faith and society’s greater good.

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How we work

Allchurches Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees and has a small team of Grants Officers who advise and support people through the application process and beyond.

We aim to ensure that we add value to our beneficiaries over and above giving a grant.

We encourage them to keep us informed throughout the life of their project and beyond, provide them with advice and guidance and support them to tell their story.

We know how helpful this can be in attracting other funders and engaging the local community.

Our Trustees

Our Trustees meet five times a year to allocate grants and follow the progress of projects we’re supporting. Our Trustees give their time and expertise from a deep commitment to Allchurches Trust’s aims.
Allchurches Trust was set up as a company limited by guarantee – a common governance model for charities. As such we have up to 50 Members who act as guarantors ensuring accountability and providing a greater appreciation of the needs of beneficiaries.

Our Team

We have a small, dedicated team with a broad range of skills and expertise. When vacancies arise, we’ll promote them on our News page and via our social media channels. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to be kept up-to-date.