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Dorset Historic Churches Trust exists to help conserve places of Christian worship of all denominations in the administrative county of Dorset, which are open for public worship.

The intention of Grant aid is to assist in the sympathetic repair of historic churches and chapels, or the historic fittings therein, to a standard that their architectural value merits and to ensure their continued use by the communities they serve.

Any cases of exceptional merit or need will be considered for our support if funds are available.

Any church wishing to apply for grant aid should contact their Deanery Area Representative for advice and assistance. Should you be uncertain how to contact your DAR, please send a message to either [email protected] or to [email protected]   asking for their details. We have recently updated our Grant Application form to enable applicants give us a clearer idea of their church's finances. The new Application form can be found here. All completed forms must be sent to your Deanery Area Representative. Applications for the June 2021 Trustees meeting must be submitted by Fri 28 May to allow due time for consideration.  Applications for the third annual cycle of grants for 2021 must be submitted by Sat 2 Oct

As a trusted partner of the National Churches Trust, we can assist with applications to their grant programmes.


Conditions for Grant aid

Dorset Historic Churches Trust exists to help conserve places of Christian worship of all denominations in the administrative county of Dorset.

The intention of Grant aid is to assist in the sympathetic repair of historic churches and chapels, or the historic fittings therein, to a standard that their architectural value merits and to ensure their continued use by the communities they serve.

Any cases of exceptional merit or need will be considered for our support if funds are available. A statement of the types of work which we are able to support and those that regrettably we cannot can be found here.  Please note that we are not able to contribute towards VAT, which can often be re-claimed on Listed Buildings, or towards professional fees. Applications are to be submitted on a Dorset Historic Churches Trust application form, with audited financial accounts attached, to the Deanery Area Representative of the Trust in the area in which the Church is located.

A grant cannot be made for repairs started or carried out before the application has been approved by a meeting of the Trustees, except where prior permission has been explicitly given by the Trust. This is obtained by contacting your Deanery Representative.

All projects must demonstrate need and a well thought-out approach, backed by professional advice and have the necessary permissions.

Our Grants normally only cover a modest proportion of the cost of repairs, and the church or chapel is expected to make a substantial contribution. Grants will be paid, only after completion of the works, on submission to the Treasurer of a receipted bill or Architects completion certificate.

The Trust reserves the right to refuse or delay payment where doubt exists over the completion of the works to a satisfactory standard.

Preference for the allocation of Grants will normally be given to applicants with a past record of support for the Trust though gifts or taking part in the annual Ride + Stride fund-raising event.  

Recent Grants 

At their meeting on 9 March 2021, the Trustees considered applications from 9 churches for work to repair roofs, guttering and pointing. Due to the much better than expected Ride + Stride returns, a grant budget of over £40,000 was available and the Trustees were very pleased to be able to award 8 grants ranging from £3,000 to £10,000 as can be seen in the table below. An application from St Aldhelm's Chapel at Worth Matravers for roof repairs was met by a grant from the Erskine Muton Trust Fund. 


Blandford ForumSt. Peter and St. PaulRepairs to roof£10,000
BridportUnitarian Chapel in the Garden Repairs to exterior walls £3,000
CheselbourneSt. MartinReplace lead on roof£5,000
HolnestChurch of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryRepairs to roof and windows£3,000
Milton Abbas,St JamesRe-roofing repairs £4,000
OborneSt Cuthbert Old Chancel (CCT)Repairs to roof£3,500
Weymouth St Paul Repairs to roof£7,000
Worth Matravers,St NicholasReplace roof tiles and re-point walls £6,000
Total for year 2021


BradpoleHoly TrinityTowards repairs to stained glass windows£4,000
Enmore GreenSt. John EvangelistTowards repairs to roof of tower and south roof£3,500
Gussage St Michael, St Michael Towards extensive repairs to roofs of tower and chancel£12,000
MoretonSt. NicholasTowards re-decoration of lime-washed walls inside the church £1,000
Over ComptonSt MichaelTowards replacing lead flashings and re-pointing £2,500
Tarrant Hinton,St. MaryTowards replacement of corroded electrical trunking and wiring £4,000
Wimborne NewboroughSt. JohnTowards replacement of defective wiring and light fittings with LED lighting £4,500
Wimborne St GilesSt. GilesTowards major repairs to roof £6,000
Chilfrome,Holy TrinityTowards urgent water-proofing £3,000
Hawkchurch St John the BaptistTowards facilities (disabled loo and hospitality unit)£5,000
North PoortonSt. Mary MagdaleneTowards guttering repairs£1,000
PuddletownSt.MaryTowards water-proofing £7,000
Stoke AbbottSt MaryTowards asbestos replacement and air-source heat pump£12,000
LillingtonSt Martin Towards roof repairs£10,000
LodersSt. Mary MagdaleneTowards repairs to the bellframe£1,000
LongburtonSt JamesTowards facilities and store room£5,000
Lyme RegisSt Michael and St George Towards repairs to roof and gutters£10,000
PrestonSt Andrew Towards repairs to roof£5,000
Sturminster MarshallSt. MaryTowards repairs to tower and window £7,000
West OrchardSt LukeTowards repair to roof£1,500
Whitchurch CanonicorumSt Candida and Holy CrossTowards repair to the tower £5,000
Winterborne Kingston,St. NicholasTowards repair to the roof£3,000
Total for year 2020


ChickerellSt. MaryTowards re-slating the nave roof£5,000
PortlandAll SaintsTowards urgent repair to stonework around windows£18,000
Shaftesbury,St PeterTowards repairs to stonework around windows£5,000
UplodersMethodistFor disabled access£2,000
Toller PorcorumSt. Andrew & St. PeterTowards replacing lead £12,000
WimborneMinster Church of St CuthbergaTowards new lighting £12,000
Burton BradstockSt. MaryRepairs to the south transept window£10,000
Corscombe,St MaryRestoring plaster work£5,000
CranborneSt. Mary and St. BartholomewHelp towards completing facilities£1,000
HolnestChurch of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin MaryFor essential internal repairs£10,000
Lytchett Matravers,St Mary the VirginFor safer access to the tower£1,000
DurwestonSt. NicholasTowards roof repairs£3,000
Kingston,St. JamesFor treatment to painted glass windows£3,000
Milton Abbas,Milton AbbeyFor leadwork to prevent water ingress£3,500
Pilsdon Community St MaryFor improved ventilation and removal of damp£4,000
YetminsterSt AndrewTowards tower repairs£12,000
Total for year 2019


Iwerne Minster (Shroton),St. MaryFor help towards the stone floor project£7,500
MotcombeSt MaryFor help towards re tiling and gutter repairs£6,000
Pamphill (Kingston Lacey)St. StephenTowards replacing dangerous heating (Grant returned not eligible)£0
Poyntington,All SaintsTowards repairs to the vestry roof stone tiles.£4,000
Shaftesbury,St JamesFor help with replacing lighting£2,000
Sydling St. NicholasSt. NicholasInstallation of a new boiler£2,000
Tarrant Monkton,All SaintsFurther help with repairs to the roof£5,500
TolpuddleSt. John the EvangelistRewiring (Using previous grant for roof) with the previous grant from 2016 now being carried forward for a further 3 years for this new project£10,000
West Lulworth,Holy TrinityReplace timber spirelet and repair stone gutter and gable coping.£6,000
Winterborne SticklandSt. MaryReplacing flawed electrics and heating.£11,000
BradpoleHoly TrinityTowards recladding the spire with new shingles£5,000
Catherston LewestonSt. MaryTowards repairs to stained glass£2,000
Fifehead MagdalenSt. Mary MagdaleneTowards waterproofing of the tower£7,500£10,000NCT Partnership grant
Lyme RegisSt. Michael the ArchangelTowards new render on the tower£12,000
Tarrant Monkton,All SaintsTowards waterproofing of the roof£2,500£5,000NCT Partnership grant
UpweySt. LaurenceTowards installation of kitchenette and lavatory£5,000
Winterborne HoughtonSt. AndrewTowards re-wiring and new heating£7,000£5,000NCT Partnership grant
Lytchett Matravers,St Mary the Virgin£4,000
MappertonAll Saints£1,000
OwermoigneSt Michael£6,000
SeaboroughSt. John£6,000
SiltonSt Nicholas£5,000
SwyreHoly Trinity£4,000
Winterborne SteepletonSt. Michael and All Angels£3,000
Total for year 2018


BradpoleHoly TrinityTowards church repairs£7,000
Buckhorn WestonSt. John the BaptistTowards church repairs£1,000
Canford MagnaParish ChurchTowards roof repairs£7,500
ChideockSt. GilesTowards installation of facilities£12,000
DorchesterSt Mary the VirginTowards repairs to west window£7,500
MarshwoodSt. MaryFurther help for repairs to windows£1,000
Purse CaundleSt. PeterTowards urgent church repairs£6,000
AskerswellSt. Michael and All AngelsFor further help with facilities£5,000
Batcombe,St MaryTowards general repairs£3,500
BridportSt.MaryTowards roof repairs£10,000£5,000application for Partnership grant
Corscombe,St MaryTowards new heating£8,000
MappertonAll SaintsTowards roof and tower repairs£3,500
Milton Abbas,St JamesTowards general repairs£3,000
Nether ComptonSt NicholasTowards roof repairs£5,000£5,000application for Partnership grant
PuncknowleSt. Mary the Blessed VirginTowards roof repairs£3,500£5,000application for Partnership grant
TrentSt AndrewTowards restoration of windows£3,000
WarehamLady St MaryTowards repair of the Beckett Chapel£3,000£5,000application for Partnership grant
Winterborne Clenston,St. NicholasTowards facilities£5,000
Whitchurch CanonicorumSt Candida and Holy CrossRepairs to windows and stone pinnacle£12,000
Total for year 2017


AskerswellSt. Michael and All AngelsFor facilities£5,000
Bere Regis,St. John the BaptistRoof repairs£10,000
Blandford ForumSt. Peter and St. PaulRepairs to roof and plasterwork£6,500£5,000NCT
BothenhamptonHoly Trinity For facilities£2,000
BothenhamptonOld Church CCTFor facilities£2,000
CharmouthSt. AndrewReplacing flooring£1,000
CranborneSt. Mary and St. BartholomewFor facilities£5,000
LillingtonSt Martin General repairs£4,500
LittlebredySt. Michael & All AngelsRepairs to roof and spire.£5,000£2,500NCT
Milborne Saint AndrewSt. AndrewFor repairs to roof£7,500£5,000NCT
Milton Abbas,Milton AbbeyGeneral repairs£10,000
Sutton WaldronSt BartholomewGeneral repairs£1,800
UpweySt. LaurenceFacilities£12,000
Canford MagnaParish Church£2,000
Gussage All SaintsAll Saints£1,255
PooleSt Dunstan of CanterburyUrgent electrical work£1,000
Tarrant Keynston,All Saints£5,000
TolpuddleSt. John the Evangelist£5,000£5,000NCT (National Churches Trust) Partnership Grant
WeymouthSt JohnRepairs to floor and tower£5,000£2,500NCT
Total for year 2016