Church insurer gives more that £130,000 to parishes

MORE THAN 850 parish churches across the UK have benefitted from over 1,000 donations of £130 from specialist insurer Ecclesiastical.

The insurer — the UK’s fourth-largest corporate donor– pledged a donation of £130 to an Anglican church of the customer’s choice for every new home insurance policy sold as part of their Trust130 campaign. Churches will benefit from the donations until 31 December 2018.

So far £136,500 has been donated by customers who have purchased home insurance through Ecclesiastical since the launch of the campaign in May 2017.

Michael Angell, Church Operations Director at Ecclesiastical, commented: “We know the difference donations can make to churches, helping to fund anything from repairs and day-to-day running costs, to exciting new projects and equipment. The Trust130 campaign has allowed us to donate over £130,000 so far. For individual churches that money can make a huge difference.”

The Trust130 campaign is part of the insurer’s commitment to donating £100m to good causes by the end of 2020.

Another of the insurer’s awards includes its recently launched Ministry Bursary Awards (MBA). The awards, now in its 30th year, are open to all members of the clergy from Anglican churches and aim to provide financial support for sabbatical breaks and projects.

Over 1,000 members of the clergy have benefitted from an Ecclesiastical award over its 30-year history. In 2018 there were 70 applicants who each received a grant of between £400 and £1,000.

“We have always tried to support sabbatical projects that provide personal development opportunities for members of the clergy as well as those that are of benefit to the wider church and community,” said Michael.

“It is exciting to see how the projects we fund have diversified over the years as the development needs and interests of our clergy continue to change and adapt to modern times,”he added.

The Ven Dr Anne Dawtry, Archdeacon of Halifax, received a grant from the Ministry Bursary Awards for her sabbatical last year, the first she had taken in over 20 years.

As a result of the award she was able to visit every cathedral and greater parish church in England researching what opportunities they provide for casual visitors to pray and to find out about the Christian faith.

For those wishing to take a sabbatical during 2019, Ecclesiastical’s Ministry Bursary Awards is now open for applications, the closing date is 30 September 2018.

“At Ecclesiastical we see the contribution our clergy make to our communities and it is invaluable. However, it can also come with a huge amount of personal responsibility. The fundamental purpose of a sabbatical is to have time for rest, renewal and recreation and return refreshed. It’s wonderful that our scheme can help support this,” said Michael.

The Trust130 campaign runs until the end of the year, but there is no limit to the number of individual donations a single church can receive.