Financial hardship support

What is available?

There a number of charities which currently distribute grants through the Diocese and/or the Bishop:

  • The Henry Smith Charity provides grants to assist clergy in financial need where this could be detrimental to their ministry. This might be because of family circumstances, unusual or emergency expenditure, or the need for a holiday after a stressful time in the parish.
  • The Pyncombe Charity supplies grants to serving clergy under 70 and their families. The money is for alleviating difficulty due to illness, injury, or other specific circumstances, and therefore excludes education.
  • The Clergy Rest Fund allocates money primarily for clergy who are in greatest need of assistance in paying for a holiday, though it is acceptable to use the money to alleviate other instances of need. 
  • The Tranquility House Trust exists to assist towards the cost of holidays for clergy in need.
  • The Queen Victoria Fund aids serving clergy in need, and can be used for anything except training courses for clergy - though support costs for attending a course could be covered.

There are other grant-making bodies, some specifically available to clergy or clergy families, and others which are open to the wider public, which are not distributed through the Bishop or Diocese:

  • The Cleaver Ordination Candidates Fund exists for the support and encouragement of Anglican ordinands committed to a traditional Catholic understanding of the priesthood and episcopate, and to urge the importance of continuing sound theological learning among the clergy.
  • Clergy Support Trust (previously Sons and Friends of the Clergy) provide grants for bereavement expenses; cars seats; child maintenance; clothing; contact grants; counselling; debts; educational Grants; financial management courses,; heating expenses; and holidays. Holiday grant applications must be received at least two months (three months for holidays taking place in July, August and September) before departure in order to give time for processing, as holiday grants cannot be awarded in retrospect.
  • Dr George Richards’ Charity considers applications for grants from clergy of the Church of England who are in need of assistance through sickness or infirmity and have become incapable of performing their clerical duties, thereby forcing them to take early retirement. Widows, widowers and other dependants of such clergy can also seek assistance.
  • English Clergy Association gives holiday grants, in many cases of a sufficient size to make a significantly helpful contribution to clergy (and their family’s) enjoyment of human life.
  • Foundation of Edward Storey is a clergy widow branch that gives financial help and limited accommodation for women who are widows of clergymen of the Church of England; dependants of clergymen of the Church of England; women Deacons and Deaconesses of the Church of England; missionaries of the Church of England; or other women closely involved in the work of the Church of England.
  • Frances Ashton Charity aids serving and retired Church of England clergy, or their widows/ widowers who are in need. The trust has a number of areas of propriety including emergency, medical or care needs.
  • The Harry and Katie Pollard Trust distributes grants to be used for the relief of infirm, sick or aged persons who are widows and daughters (over 50 years of age) of clergymen.
  • Newton’s Trust was established to provide financial assistance to widows or unmarried daughters of deceased clergymen and to divorced or separated wives of clergymen of the Church of England.
  • Rustat Trust provides assistance to clergy with children of school age, for any educational purpose including school fees, but particularly for clergy below the status of incumbent with children at maintained schools.
  • Society for the Relief of Poor Clergy (SRPC) aids evangelical ministers and their dependents in times of financial distress due to the sickness, bereavement or other difficulties.
  • St Boniface Trust was established to advance the Christian Religion in accordance with the principles of the Anglican faith in all parts of the world, especially for the provision of education and training of clergy and lay people by the award of scholarships and maintenance allowance or any purpose concerning their spiritual or temporal welfare.
  • St George’s Trust gives grants to Anglican clergy, seminarians and students. The grants for stipendiary clergy are for those taking sabbaticals. For self-supporting clergy (for whom official sabbaticals are rarely given) grants are available for recognised study. Seminarian applications can be received from those in Anglican theological colleges or on ministerial courses. The grants are to assist with the costs of pastoral placements that are part of formation. For students, the grant will help towards the expenses of engaging in a work of Christian mission and service – typically this will be for a gap year before or after higher education.
  • Women’s Continuing Ministerial Education Trust (WCMET) gives grants to further the Continuing Ministerial Education of women in the Church of England and the Scottish Episcopal Church through grants to ordained women, female Accredited Lay Workers (including Church Army sisters) and religious sisters (lay or ordained). The Trustees’ policy is to assist their work and professional ministry in areas that go beyond normal diocesan financial responsibilities or where normal diocesan resources are insufficient, for example in-service training, academic study, sabbaticals and travel. 

Who is eligible?

Eligibility varies by grant provider and depends on personal financial circumstances. The Clergy Grants Flowchart is a good starting point to check which grant best suits your situation.

How do I access it?

If you find yourself in financial difficulty contact your Area Dean (see here for more information) or a member of the Bishop’s Core Staff Team (contact details here) who will be able to advise you as to whether a grant would be suitable, and if so which one.

Whom do I contact for more information?

For information about grants distributed by the Bishop and/or Diocese please contact Christine Camfield, PA to the Bishop of Coventry. For information about other grants, please contact the funding body, as directed in the information below, which was correct at the time of writing.

  • Cleaver Ordination Candidates Fund -; The Clerk, The Reverend John Hanks - 50 Thames Street, Oxford OX1 1SU. Email:
  • Clergy Support Trust (previously Sons and friends of the Clergy) -; 1 Dean Trench Street, Westminster, London, SW1P 3HB. Telephone: 020 7799 3696. Email:
  • Dr George Richards’ Charity - 98 Thomas More House, Barbican, London EC2Y 8BU. Telephone: 020 7588 5583.
  • English Clergy Association -; The Almoner: The Reverend G. Richard W. Hall, 45 Howard Park, Greystoke, Penrith, Cumbria, CA11 0TU. Email:
  • Foundation of Edward Storey -; The Clerk to the Trustees, The Foundation of Edward Storey, Mount Pleasant, Cambridge, CB3 0BZ. Telephone: 01223 364405. Email:
  • Frances Ashton Charity - Frances Ashton Charity, c/o Mrs Georgina Fowle, Beech House, Woolston, Yeovil, Somerset, BA22 7BJ. Telephone: 07775 717 606. Email: 
  • The Harry and Katie Pollard Trust - Fr. Darren Smith, c/o The Additional Curates Society, Gordon Browning House, 7 Spitfire Road, Birmingham, B24 9PB. Telephone: 0121 382 5533. Email:
  • Newton’s Trust - Mr David Wallington - 1 Tudor Close, Lichfield WS14 9RX. Telephone: 01543 302924. Email:
  • Rustat Trust - The Dean, Jesus College, Cambridge CB5 8BL. Telephone: 01223 339699. Email:
  • Society for the Relief of Poor Clergy (SRPC) -; The Secretary, SRPC, c/o CPAS, Unit 3, Sovereign Court One, Sir William Lyons Road, University of Warwick Science Park, Coventry, CV4 7EZ. Email:
  • St Boniface Trust -; David Prior, 4 Cley View, Warminster, Wiltshire, BA12 8NS. Telephone: 01985 216904 (evenings and weekends only). Email
  • St George’s Trust -; Mrs Linden Sheffield - Fellowship of Saint John (UK) Trust Association, The Almoner’s Room, St Andrew Holborn, 5, St Andrew Street, LONDON EC4A 3AB. Telephone: 0203 489 7110, or 07739 012459 or 01494 446636.
  • Women’s Continuing Ministerial Education Trust (WCMET) -; Tim Ling, WCMET, Ministry Division, Church House, Great Smith Street, London SW1P 3AZ. Telephone: 020 7898 1408. Email:

Another useful website is, which is a database which helps people in financial need to access benefits, charitable bodies, and other such organisations. Many, if not all, grant-making bodies for clergy have a page on this website. 

For information about applying for Universal Credit see the 2020 Guide to Universal Credit.

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