The Synod Trustees, at a recent Meeting, agreed to set up a Synod Buildings Repair Fund. Synod has been concerned about the number of churches contacting Synod and asking for help and being advised that no help was available.
The Trustees reached their decision as a result of legal advice that had been received by all Synods concerning the responsibility of Trustees. The advice that was received from Counsel was that although the Trustees had a responsibility to see that all Synod’s buildings are properly maintained, the primary responsibility for maintaining those buildings rested with the local churches.
The conditions for a Grant are:-
(a) The work must be identified in a current quinquennial survey report, unless it arises from an emergency
(b) The maximum grant is 50% of the cost up to a maximum of £10,000 for any one claim
(c) The local church must meet 50% of the cost or £10,000, whichever is the lower, without any loan from Synod
(d) Only maintenance work is to be included, but if maintenance is obviated by new work then that can be included.
(e) Only in exceptional circumstances could a second claim be considered within a five year period, such as an emergency situation
United Churches and Local Ecumenical Partnerships will only be eligible for the appropriate proportion of the grant – that is all denominations in the LEP must contribute the same amount as
Synod has agreed to set aside a sum of £100,000 to assist churches, but this assistance will be given only in the case of need. The minimum amount will be £500 and the maximum amount will be £10,000.
It is a condition of the grant that M&M payments are up to date and there are no arrears (unless a payment plan has been agreed with the Synod M&M Officer and F&P).
Synod will need to see and examine the accounts of the church making the application, supported by three quotations. Synod may offer a grant but will require evidence that the church has match funding in place before the grant is confirmed. The Synod Officers will have delegated responsibilities to ensure that there is no delay, as it is appreciated that repair may work need to be undertaken expeditiously. Payment will be made by BACS into the church bank account on receipt of a copy of the Invoice for the completed work.