The Church in Society Committee has been established to encourage local churches and agencies to work with others for the benefit of the whole community – and to take risks in living and sharing the Gospel in relevant ways.
Local churches are already involved in a wide range of activity, and in response to this, small grants are available from the Province to help develop these initiatives. The Church in Society Committee wants to help local churches develop partnerships, networks and engagement with other agencies and charities that seek to respond to the needs of the local community.
What will the Church in Society grant support?
The grant will support proposals which relate to the above purpose and specifically to the
following 5 categories:
- Embedding Social Justice in Church Life
- Fairtrade Churches: Promoting Economic Justice
- Living with People of Other Faiths
- Our Sacred Earth: Living Environmental Justice
- Valuing Older People
We want local churches to:
- Make a positive difference in the lives of people in greatest need in the community.
- Demonstrate imagination and creativity, offering encouragement and hope to both church and society in challenging injustice and discovering new ways of working.
- Be inclusive and collaborative, committed to the formation of partnerships and the building up of trust and positive relationships.
- Affirm and involve local people, helping them develop their skills and confidence.
Who can apply?
Scottish Episcopal Churches can apply and those agencies willing to work with us. In all cases, church applications will require to be supported by their Vestry and congregation serving the community in question. All applications will need the endorsement of the local Diocesan Bishop. Proposals that relate to overseas issues or work that supports a national charity can be considered as long as the SEC is in partnership with the project.
What support is available?
- The limited financial resources will be distributed according to the level of need in each case. Grants will only be a proportion of the cost of the project. Grants will be awarded on a one-off basis, though further applications for the same project may be considered on merit, after an evaluation of an earlier grant has been submitted. Grants will only be available once a year and applications should be submitted by the 30 April so that they may be considered in May.
- Non-financial support, advice and training may be available through the Church in Society Committee.
The Church in Society Action Network aims to encourage local churches to begin a journey of discovery and the Committee has a particular interest in supporting the development of new or recently established work. If a project is well established and has benefited from the support of the wider church and other organisations, it is less likely that the Church in Society Committee will support a grant application. This does not mean that it considers such work to be of less value than new projects, but simply reflects a policy on allocating the limited resources as fairly and justly as possible.
What is the application procedure?
- Applicants should contact the Church Relations Officer or the Convener of the Committee for informal discussion of ideas and proposals as early as possible.
- Applicants may be offered the opportunity to meet together with other groups in a similar or different situation, to share ideas and learn from each other as proposals are being developed.
- Before proceeding with a full and detailed application, applicants must submit a brief proposal in writing (no more than one side of A4) to check that this meets the basic criteria for a grant. When ready to proceed, applicants should submit their proposal on the appropriate form, (preferably electronically) together with any other information required.
- Applications are considered once a year and closing date for submission is 30 April.
- The outcome should be known and communicated by the end of May.
- After an application has been received, representatives of the Church in Society Committee will contact the applicant to formally assess the proposals.
- A recommendation will be made to the Provincial committee which will decide the final outcome of the application.
If a grant is agreed:
- The Management Committee, Church Vestry or Board will require to comply with any conditions attached to the grant, some of which will concern following good practice and meeting statutory responsibilities on different matters, depending on the nature of the work involved.
- Appropriate procedures for the payment of the grant will be put in place.
- The Management Committee, Church Vestry or Board will comply with appropriate monitoring procedures and report on the progress and development of their work.
- Your organisation will be encouraged to join occasionally with others in a mutual sharing of stories, knowledge and experience. It is hoped this will promote the ongoing process of learning and reform throughout the national church.
If a grant is not agreed:
- An explanation will be given about the reason(s) for this.
- Applicants will be encouraged to continue to reflect on their proposals and to draw on other non-financial support, which may be available with the help of the Church in Society Committee, from your local Diocese, Province, or other agencies.
- Where appropriate, applicants may wish to resubmit the proposal at a future date, if the points raised in the initial feedback have been adequately addressed. Applicants should bear in mind, however, that re-submitted applications might not necessarily be successful.
For further Information please contact the Convener, Rev Ian Barcroft or the Church Relations Officer at the General Synod of the Scottish Episcopal Church, 21 Grosvenor Crescent. Edinburgh.
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