Frequently Asked Questions & Links
For more information, download Grants Workshop Presentation.
Who can apply?
The Connexional Grants Committee aims to support the mission and ministry of the Methodist Church at local church, circuit and district level, while recognising that there are many organisations who can work in partnership with the Church in order to do this. Therefore applications are accepted from a wide range of organisations. Our focus is on ensuring that projects and programmes of work are focused on The Priorities of the Methodist Church, and the document "Our Calling". Individuals and informal groups, however, are not eligible for connexional grant funding. Methodist Action on Poverty and Justice (MAPJ) and Property grants are only available for Methodist projects.
When are the deadlines for grant applications?
See Apply for a Grant.
Is match funding necessary?
Our grants assessors always like to see a good funding package in grant applications with an eye on sustainable funding during and after the project. If you are applying for a MAPJ grant then the grant is limited to 50% of project costs. If you are applying for a Chaplaincy grant then at least one third of the costs need to be covered by the district.
What is the maximum that can be applied for?
Can an application be made after a project has started?
No. We will not fund work that has already started. If you have an ongoing, especially Property project, you may be able to take a phased approach to your work and make an application for a specific stage of the overall project. Do make sure when applying that your project does not have a start date that is before the estimated date for receiving funding.
How many years of grant funding can be applied for?
You can apply for up to five years of funding (these are connexional years running from 1 September to 31 August). However, Property grants, which are given on a draw-down basis, expire after three years.
Can organisations which are not 'missional' apply for funding?
Grant applications need to focus on the mission of the Methodist Church which is described "Our Calling". Mission in its widest sense includes advocacy, a concern for the poor, disadvantaged and vulnerable, social justice and environmental impact, as well as enabling people to articulate their faith and give faith a voice in the public space.
Is funding available for inter faith projects?
The Methodist Church is committed to building good relations with people of other faiths. You can visit our separate inter faith website to see the link between inter faith relations and "Our Calling".
Why do grant applications need to fit with "Our Calling" and Methodist Priorities?
Grant funding is only given to projects which are able to deliver aspects of the mission of the Methodist Church, as set out in the above documents. This is particularly important as our grants are made from the Mission in Britain Fund. Just as all our work and service is in response to the love of God so too our use of resources, including grants, is aimed at showing God's love in practical ways.
Is it necessary to have project partners in place before making an application?
Project partners do not have to be in place before you make a grant application, though it is a good idea to develop partnerships at the earliest stage possible. If you are applying in partnership with another organisation which will receive payments from grant funding it is important to have a written partnership agreement in place to avoid disputes over grant monies.
What does 'connexionally significant' mean?
'Connexionally significant' appears on the Ministry and Mission grant application form, it covers the following:
- having an impact that is larger than local, capable of
- furthering God's mission in innovative and far reaching ways
- targeting an aspect of society outside church culture with the potential to achieve a very high impact
- achieving a very high impact for the wider Connexion through an ecumenical partnership
- innovating, where the level of risk is high but the possible level of benefit is commensurately high
- delivering a strategically important initiative for the Methodist Church, which is impossible or overwhelmingly difficult to do elsewhere, and places an unreasonable financial burden on the District/Circuit in which it is placed.
- involving, or having the potential to involve, several Districts. The involvement could be at church or Circuit level but must cross District boundaries.
- celebrating the story of the Methodist Church through using Methodist heritage to:
- challenge and deepen the faith of Methodist people
- inspire members of the local community, people from different parts of Britain, or from other countries, outside the Church, to think about the meaning and practice of Christian faith or engage with Methodism.
- furthering God's mission in innovative and far reaching ways
What kind of Property projects will be funded?
Grants for repairs or maintenance are no longer available at Connexional level. Instead churches should seek to maintain their property through local, circuit or district funding. Grant funding is only available for projects which are new builds or significant alterations and/or refurbishments.
Is funding available for shared properties used by Local Ecumenical Projects (LEPs)?
A proposed property project application relating to a shared property used by an LEP will need to get advice and the approval of the Connexional Ecumenical Officer (email@example.com, 020 7467 3520) prior to an application for funding being submitted to the Connexional Grants Committee for consideration.
Can applications for 100% funding be submitted?
For some projects 100% funding is specifically not available, see Is match funding necessary? (above) If no other funding source is available then a good quality application for a high impact project could potentially be awarded full funding.
Do all the questions on the application form need to be answered?
Please complete all questions on the form and give us as much relevant evidence as possible. This will enable the Connexional Grants Committee assessors to make informed and accurate decisions.
Every applicant will need to answer each question with varying amounts of information. Use your common sense in deciding how much you think the Committee will want to know. If you can't think of anything to write in response to a question, it may be worth spending a little time on this area of your preparation before submitting your application.
Is advice and support available when completing the application form(s)?
The Connexional Grants Team is available to support any applicant with their application. We are always willing to discuss initial ideas or draft applications and offer tips for submitting an application that is suitable for full review by our independent assessors. Outline applications or queries may be emailed to us for initial review. You can also explore your project idea with your District Property Secretary or Grants Officer.
Can repeat applications be made?
An organisation may apply for repeat funding if it has already been funded by the Methodist Church. We would expect to see that the project has been fully reviewed upon completion and that lessons have been learned. A full report on the use of funds received previously should be included with a repeat application, which should also address the ongoing sustainability of the project.
What happens if applications are unsuccessful?
Unsuccessful applicants are notified within five working days of the grant assessors making a decision. We give feedback to all applicants if their application is rejected, this will include specific areas which could be improved. We may invite applicants to resubmit a revised application with additional information or with answers that more closely fit the eligibility criteria.
What happens to my application?
All applications are submitted through the Connexional Grants Team. They will scrutinise your application and may contact you to seek clarification and suggest improvements. The Connexional Grants Team will also coordinate input from relevant members of the wider Connexional Team regarding your application and the project or programme of work envisaged. This input will be provided to the Connexional Grants Committee (CGC) with your application.
Members of the CGC are appointed by Council and are selected based on their experience in different areas of Church work and in grant assessment. Members of the Connexional Team cannot serve on the CGC and have no control over the allocation of connexional grants.
The CGC is made up of two sub-committees, the Mission in Britain Sub-committee, and the World Church Sub-committee. Each Sub-committee is further subdivided into different Streams which have expertise in particular areas of Church work. Streams are authorised to approve or decline grants of up to £50,000 and work closely together to ensure that the assessment process for smaller projects is faster. If your application is for £50,000 or more, then it will first be evaluated by a Stream and then by the relevant Sub-committee. If it is for more than £100,000 it will need to be assessed by the full Connexional Grants Committee.
How long does it take to process a grant application?
see also When are the deadlines for grant applications? (above)
Grants are processed twice a year according to the published dates. The assessment process is usually complete within two months following the application deadline. You will hear within five working days of the assessors' decision whether your application has been successful.
What is needed for a successful application?
It is essential to answer all the questions on the form and provide all of the requested application. We also recommend that applicants get in touch with the Grants Team for any advice, information or support prior to submitting an application (this should include planning your project timetable to take account of submission deadlines and grant committee meetings). We also encourage applicants to submit a draft or outline application so that the Grants Team can offer feedback on whether the eligibility criteria are being addressed and whether there is likely to be sufficient information for the assessors to properly review your application.
Two important elements of a successful application are: a clear statement of the missional aspects of the project and the applicant indicating that they have sufficient available resources to deliver the project, making clear who will be doing the work. Our assessors will naturally be concerned if there are only a few members in your church, if it is a church application, with low levels of giving.
How can non-financial support be shown on application forms?
Generally, this is not a question that is often asked, however applicants miss out on some scoring elements because they have not included details of non-financial support. Your application may be strengthened if you can show that although there is no (or limited) local financial support there are significant contributions 'in kind'. 'In kind' contributions could include: access to church premises and facilities (eg printing and photocopying), website hosting, office space, volunteers, support from local minister or Superintendent and partner contributions which are not being reimbursed.
What policies are applicants expected to comply with?
All projects must fit with "Our Calling" and the "Priorities" of the Methodist Church. In addition, as appropriate, projects should have policies in place which cover Equal Opportunities and Diversity and Safeguarding, these policies are particularly important for MAPJ projects.
Does the Methodist Church fund research projects?
We do not fund any research work.
What are the implications of "stationing" for our project?
If your project includes the appointment of a presbyter or deacon then you must have finance in place before seeking an appointment. You cannot begin the stationing process if the appointment is dependent on funds which you have not yet received.
Do you only fund Methodists?
The Connexional Grants Committee aims to support the mission and ministry of the Methodist Church at local church, circuit and district level, while recognising that there are many organisations who can work in partnership with the Church in order to do this. Therefore applications are accepted from a wide range of organisations. Our focus is on ensuring that projects and programmes of work are focused on The Priorities of the Methodist Church, and the document "Our Calling". Individuals and informal groups, however, are not eligible for connexional grant funding. MAPJ and Property grants are only available for Methodist projects.
Individual Grants for Ministers (these are not administered by the Connexional Grants Team)