Unlocking funding to 'green' your churches' mission

11 April 2024

The climate emergency is one of the biggest and most important issues facing the world today – how can churches respond?

A church on a hill in the countryside surrounded by daffodils
 
Given that one key to lowering carbon emissions is reducing energy consumption (and hence bills) there should be a win-win, but where do you start?
 
Begin by assessing how green your church already is and from that produce a plan for improving it. Alongside this you can develop your story demonstrating why it is important to the church and how taking steps to care for God’s creation is part of your mission. 
 
Having identified potential actions, there may be ways to obtain funding towards the costs:
  • The Church of England has produced some excellent guidance, plus earmarked £30m for grants to churches looking to move towards net zero: A short guide to grants and projects to help your church get to net zero.
  • The Government launched its £25.5m VCSE Energy Efficiency Scheme in December 2023 which will fund energy efficiency assessments on charitable property, then provide capital funding towards improvement work. 
  • Many local authorities have grant schemes to assist community buildings, including churches to reduce their emissions – check at county and district level if applicable.
  • Community Foundations cover specific geographic areas: UK Community Foundations. Most grants are thematic and often include carbon reduction funding programmes.
  • Many national funders have aims to improve energy efficiency – both National Lottery Community Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation stress this.
  • Look at particular activities or partnerships that could attract relevant funding, e.g. grants focused on improving energy efficiency in buildings hosting winter Warm Spaces.
The competition for ‘green’ funding can be fierce, so start with proper evidence of need and a clear plan then cast your net as wide as possible and focus on the community benefits to the church’s reduced carbon emissions. 
 
To support you in unlocking funding, find easy-to-use guidance and tools, via our fundraising hub. Discover a wide range of topics such as understanding the grants process, telling your story and access a free list of church funders providing grants