COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund

During the coronavirus pandemic, parishes across the Diocese have shown again and again how determined they are to witness and demonstrate Christ’s love. This crisis has shown the generosity of community, and the way in which the parishes have a pivotal part in showing and delivering care.

Within this, we have also seen and felt significant dislocation, and part of that has been financial.

Aware that with a halt to life has come a halt to business, and a halt to many forms of income, the Diocesan Team has been looking at what can be done immediately to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

It is through prayerful consideration, and by listening to the experiences of parishes, that with the agreement of Bishop’s Council, we are pleased to be able to the launch of the Diocese of Rochester COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.

This fund offers an initial £750,000 package of support to help parishes in immediate financial need.

The support consists of:

  • Loans of between £2,000 and £25,000 for any parish who would like one, interest and repayment free for the first year.
  • Small support grants of £5,000 for those parishes in most acute financial need.  

 

We want to ensure that the process to access this support is as simple and as quick as possible.  

To find out more about how to apply for a loan or a grant, and who is eligible, we have therefore created some simple guides to help you through the process.

If you have any questions, please contact:

  • For grants: sue.davis@rochester.anglican.org
  • For loans: gerry.hughes@rochester.anglican.org

 

Why have we done this?

Amidst the illness and grief, our practical and economic concern is to see that parishes have   sufficient funds to meet their immediate commitments and that the most financially vulnerable parishes are supported.

It has been our plan throughout that the financial cost of the crisis should ultimately be shared fairly by the National Church, our Diocesan Board of Finance including the Common Fund, PCCs and also Church members.

With this emergency assistance, we hope that parishes will also seek as much as possible to honour their Parish Offer commitments.

 

Could you support the fund?

There will be some parishes who have no need to apply for either a loan or grant, but may wish to help. If you are in this position, you may feel called to gift some funds to support the COVID19 Emergency Relief Grants.

Raising an additional £100,000 would enable another 20 parishes, in some of our most deprived areas, to receive much-needed funds.

We would be very grateful for any additional financial support a parish may wish to give. To find out how to make a gift, please see our Appeal Form here.

 

Application process and timetable

The application process for both the loans and the grants, is intended to be swift and simple, with decisions taken on the best available information and understanding.

  • Application forms for the first wave of applications are requested to be submitted by Friday 5 June 2020.
  • A COVID19 Emergency Relief Committee is being formed to consider all requests for loans and grants. Initial payments will be made in week commencing 8 June 2020.

Whilst we know there will be more parishes who need help than we can support, we hope the availability of the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund will offer reassurance where it is most needed, and be a tangible sign of our shared endeavour as the body of Christ, to witness to God’s transforming love.

 

 




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