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We administer the Cottam Will Trust, which offers grants “for the purchase of objects of beauty to be placed in ancient Gothic churches for the furtherance of religion”.

Art funding

This art funding is available for projects in any Gothic church across England and Wales.

St Michael's, Tremaen
Benjamin Finn Wickham Bishops

Stained glass artist Benjamin Finn at work in Old St Peter's, Wickham Bishops; © Adrian Powter

How to apply

We can make grants for items such as statues, sculpture, murals, paintings, Paschal candlesticks, vestments, Commandment Boards, stained glass, altars and altar frontals.

Grants are usually made for new works of art, but we have also funded the purchase of salvaged items.

Anyone can apply but we encourage applications from Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) or artists themselves with the backing of the PCC.

What we don’t fund:

  • Repairs and restoration are not eligible.
  • We are unable to accept applications for new bells at present.

“Project Black Jack has been a wonderful success and has drawn together a significant number of people. The funding issues that surround these kinds of projects are often quite a challenge. The Cottam Will Trust’s grant made a massive difference to the challenge of matched funding. The enormous injection of enthusiasm that comes with receiving a significant grant, boosts morale and lifts the levels of enthusiasm to a different plane.

The Project Group are indebted to the Cottam Will Trust for being willing to become part of this project which has not only had an impact on the church community, but the townspeople and a much wider audience. People have been coming from all over southern England to see the Statues. The Cottam Will Trust helped to make this happen.”

Canon Graham Morris, Vicar of Cirencester Parish

Project Black Jack

Two new bronze statues for St John the Baptist's, Cirencester, Gloucestershire (£10,000 grant)

St John the Baptist, Cirencester is one of England’s great medieval churches. Its west tower has two niches. The niches have been empty since the 1960s, when the medieval sculptures were removed due concerns over public safety.

The PCC has long wished for new statues of St John the Baptist and Virgin and Child to fill the niches.

Following a national competition, sculptor Rodney Munday was selected as the artist to create the new sculptures. Munday believes that public art needs to be a collaborative process, so, before lockdown, he placed maquettes (image opposite) in the church, spent time speaking to the congregation and visitors, and gave a public lecture on the designs.

Munday then cast the statues in bronze.

In the northwest niche, he mounted St John the Baptist, and in the southwest niche, the Virgin holds a standing Christ-child by both hands as he leans out of the niche.

Cirencester maquettes
Berwick - Cottam

Decoration to the reredos at St Michael & All Angels, Berwick, East Sussex (£3,000 grant)

This Grade I listed church has 12th-century origins, but it’s perhaps best known for its connections with the Bloomsbury Set.

During World War II, Bishop Bell of Chichester commissioned the Bloomsbury artists Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Quentin Bell to decorate the interior of this ancient rural church.

However, the reredos was never decorated, so the PCC have commissioned Julian Bell, grandson of Vanessa and Quentin Bell, to design a depiction of the Downland chalk wildflower meadow with an existing bronze cross designed by David Hensel mounted under the central arch. The proposal references earlier phases of work in theme, tone and colour.

Apply for a grant

We welcome grant applications from PCCs or artists (with the backing of the PCC). Please download the application form below.

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