Friends and Trusts
sponsored by ecclesiastical
Supporting over 16,000 cathedral and church buildings of The Church of England

Friends and Trusts

For many people, the built environment – buildings and places – contributes greatly to our understanding of local areas, or our ‘sense of place’. For most people places of worship form a key part of their built environment, whether they are part of a worshipping congregation or not. 

Our historic churches need a great deal of care and maintenance and much of this heavy burden usually falls upon the PCC. A Friends’ Group or building trust offers people a formal way to support the conservation of their local church.

'Three Types of Trust'

Whilst Friends groups should be open to all, we believe there are three distinct types of group or trust.

The Friends could be skilled locals, like architects or engineers, willing to give time and expertise freely, or it might be a group of interested locals who donate or fundraise on behalf of the church, to support, develop and conserve the building in a range of ways - from organising concerts and coffee mornings, to completing funding applications and repairing broken gutters.

Click here to find out more about our 'Three Types of Trust' model.

Further Information

The National Churches Trust has guidance notes on the practicalities of setting up Friends groups and Trusts - see here and here.

The Diocese of Canterbury has information on setting up a Friends scheme here

The Diocese of London hasa toolkit for setting up a Friends group

Also Parish Resources has a guide to setting up a Friends scheme and sample constitution, here


The following organisations offer starter grants, including for setting up trusts:


Heritage Lottery Fund - Start-up Grants

Architectural Heritage Fund - Project Viability Grant Scheme