The Anglican Church relies heavily on the ministry of ordained clergy, but for much of its history many of them experienced considerable financial hardship. Most of the predecessor organisations to the present day Sons & Friends of the Clergy have focused on making financial grants to clergy households experiencing real hardship.

Today, most Anglican clergy receive a stipend that the Church believes is sufficient under normal circumstances to meet the expenses of everyday life. Most clergy households now have an income equivalent to, or greater than, the average household income in the UK. Access to state benefits has further improved the financial situation of many clergy households. However, Sons & Friends recognises that there are circumstances where the income to a clergy household (or that of a widowed, divorced or separated partner) is not sufficient to support the particular situation of the household. In such circumstances, one-off gifts may be available.

All support is provided by our small team of grants officers and is completely confidential.

Who can be considered for a grant?

The charity supports the following beneficiary groups:

  • Serving and retired Anglican clergy and their dependants
  • Divorced and separated spouses and civil partners of eligible clergy
  • Widows, widowers and surviving civil partners of eligible clergy
  • Anglican ordinands training for ministry in the UK 

The relevant clergy must be working in or have worked in:

  • The United Kingdom
  • The Republic of Ireland
  • The Diocese of Sodor and Man
  • The Channel Islands

We can consider help for Anglican clergy in the Diocese in Europe or who currently work abroad (supported by a UK-based missionary society).  However, our help in these cases will be limited to unforeseen crises and not where any structural shortfall in finance could have been anticipated prior to the posting.

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What types of grant are available?

Gifts towards financial hardship

Anglican clergy receive a stipend that the church believes is sufficient under normal circumstances to meet the expenses of everyday life. In some circumstances however, we recognise that this stipend and other income coming into the home (partner’s salary, state benefits, income from property and investments etc) is not sufficient to support the household. Using data from the Office of National Statistics and the charity’s long experience of grant-making, Sons & Friends has established benchmark incomes to assess the level of financial hardship. Where the Trustees judge that the household income is not sufficient to support the particular situation of the household, single gifts may be available.

The household income of retired clergy, widows/widowers of clergy, divorced and separated spouses will be assessed in a similar way.

Please click on this link to find out more:

Information for Applicants


Ordinand grants

Ordinands training in UK colleges or on regional courses may be eligible for a grant in each year of their training. The income of eligible applicants will be assessed against the benchmarks established by the trustees. If the applicant’s income falls below the benchmark figure, then a gift of £350 will be made.

Click here to apply for an ordinand grant

Special Purpose Gifts

Gifts may be available to help eligible households with some specific needs as detailed below. The financial position of eligible households will be assessed in the same way as for Gifts towards financial hardship. 

Accessibility modifications: Help may be available towards the cost of mobility aids, stair lifts, installation of a wet room etc, where there is a medical need.

Bereavement: Help can sometimes be considered for clergy and their widows/widowers towards the costs of their spouse’s/partner’s funeral.

Debt relief: In exceptional circumstances the Trustees may be able to offer limited help with repayment of debt.

Legal fees on buying first property: Legal fees incurred on the purchase of a first property for clergy who are approaching retirement. 


Medical expenses: Help may be available to assist with medical expenses that are not covered under the NHS – most often for counselling, therapy, care home fees etc. Please ensure that you have contacted your Local Health Authority/Social Services and all other third party sources of funding to see what help is available.

Nursing home fees: Limited help can be considered towards the costs of nursing home care where the shortfall in fees cannot be met by the State, local authority, other relevant charities or family.

Relationship Counselling: Help may be available towards relationship support counselling.

Resettlement: Where there is no Diocesan help available.

School fees: In certain exceptional circumstances, the Trustees may provide help towards school fees where there is a compelling proven educational need for a child to attend an Independent School.

Please contact a member of the Grants Team at the office on 020 7799 3696 if you would like to apply for any of the above Special purpose gifts.


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