Mission Fund Grants



The East Midlands Synod Mission Fund was created in 2008 to make grants to United Reformed Church congregations within the synod for the purpose of expanding the mission of the local church. The Mission Fund is able to assist where the mission purpose of the project is clear and fits within the overall Pastorate Profile.  Grants can be made to single United Reformed Church congregations and joint pastorates and Areas and to LEPs which include the United Reformed Church.

Source of Funds

The Fund was created by the transfer of £50,000 each year from capital arising from the sale of redundant churches. In 2018 the amount transferred was raised to £75,000pa. It also receives funds from the income arising from the small D G Webb Trust and the Timson legacy.  Funds from the Timson legacy can only be spent in Nottinghamshire and the Borough of Northampton.  Grants from several small local Trust Funds can also be distributed by the Mission Fund Panel.

The Fund also administers the Moorgreen Trust Fund, which is available only to the churches of the former Erewash Valley Pastorate and only for capital expenditure.


Successful project applications will have the aim of strengthening the worshipping and serving community of the local church.

Churches seeking funding may include alterations to buildings where such alterations form part of the mission purpose. Projects may also include social action where that has a clear outreach purpose.

The maximum grant available is £30,000 and must not be more than 50% of the total project cost.

Funding may be awarded for projects extending over more than one year but must reduce each year.  The total must not exceed the maximum £30,000.

Only one application per church per year will be considered.

Where a church has received funding for a project, a second and final round of funding for that project may be considered but normally at 25% of the project cost rather than 50%.

Grants will normally only be available for new mission initiatives rather than to fund continuing/existing work, although subject to the provision above, a second round of funding for a previously supported Mission Fund grant may be considered.

Where a church has received a grant, it must wait at least two years before submitting an application for a new project.

Where pastorate is or includes a Local Ecumenical Partnership the maximum grant awarded may be less than 50% at the discretion of the Mission Fund Panel.

The Panel will consider funding requests for ecumenical projects.  If a grant is awarded it will normally be capped in proportion to the URC’s interest in the project. So for an ecumenical project sponsored by 4 denominations, the Mission Fund can contribute 25% of the total up to £30,000. The Mission Fund Panel can however exercise discretion and may agree a higher proportion if it feels it appropriate e.g. to ‘kick start’ a project.

All projects which involve work with children and/or young people must have the support of the Synod CYDO.

All grant applications must have the support of the Synod Mission Development Officer or a Mission Enabler.

This guidance is in addition to the criteria for making grants, given in the Guidance Notes; applications that do not meet the published criteria are not eligible for Mission Fund grants.

The Process

A local church investigating a proposal should consult with synod advisors as early as possible to receive advice and support. This would normally be the local Mission Enabler but for some projects the local Pastoral Consultant could be approached. Projects involving children or young people need to consult the Synod CYDO. Where property alterations are an integral part of the mission project, the Property Officer or Property Networker should be consulted; this is especially important if the building is listed.

The local church should draw up or revise its Pastorate Profile and complete the Mission Fund Application Form. These should then be submitted with a copy of the church’s most recent accounts and any supporting papers to the synod office before the twice-yearly deadline (as notified on the Synod web site). These will be considered by the Panel who will invite representatives of the pastorate to the Panel meeting to put forward their proposal and answer questions.  In some cases the Panel may arrange on-site visits to clarify their understanding of the scheme. The Panel may also invite the advisers to comment on the proposal. They will then decide on the schemes presented to them and advise all applicants of the results. Sometimes this will be rejection or deferral. Approval may be dependent on obtaining other grants or fund raising being completed.

Payment will be made immediately or at the time requested by the applicant.  For building projects, the applicant must submit copies of invoices to the Synod Office before payment can be made.

A report on the project must be submitted on completion.  Where a project extends over two or three years, a report on each year’s work, together with accounts and budget, must be submitted to allow the Panel to agree the following year’s funding.  

All these conditions are set out in the Terms of Grant which is sent to all successful applicants with their grant offer letter.

The Mission Fund Panel will submit an annual report to Synod through the Mission Development Group.

Should you wish to apply for a grant, the forms may be downloaded from here or obtained from the Synod Office. Once completed, they should be returned by email to the Synod Office and one printed copy of the form and any supporting documents should be returned to:

The Synod Administrator URC East Midlands Synod Office 1 Edwards Lane Sherwood Nottingham NG5 3AA

Closing dates for applications

Applications may be submitted at any time, and will be considered at the next available panel meeting. However, there will be a strictly-enforced cut-off point beyond which any applications received will not be considered until the following meeting. This will allow the necessary distribution of papers to the panel members, and any questions of clarification to be dealt with before the panel meets.

The next panel meetings and application deadlines are as follows:

          Meeting Date

  Application cut-off Date

         27th October 2021

      15th September 2021
2nd November 2021

21st September 2021

4th May 2022

23rd March 2022


Current members of the Panel (January 2021) are:

Revd Robert Bushby, Convenor

Revd Geoffrey Clarke (ex-officio)

Revd Camilla Veitch (ex-officio)

Revd James Breslin (ex-officio)

Revd Geoff Townsend, OMCG Convenor (until March 2021)

Revd George Mwaura, OMCG Convenor (from March 2021)

Mr David Greatorex, Synod Treasurer

Mrs Helen Lidgett

Revd Dr. Gillian Poucher

Miss Victoria Paulding

Mr Peter Rippon

Mrs Chris Willis, Synod Administrator – Secretary


Please see attachments for Application Form and Guidance Notes