Frequently Asked Questions

Funding & Payments

We need to send an initial payment to the builder for materials. Does this payment have to go through the consents website?

If you have received consent for the project and payment is to be made from a source included in the Funding section of your Project Record, and held by TMCP, you can request a BACS payment direct to the contractor from TMCP using the Payments tab.

TMCP conducts BACS transfers on Tuesdays and Thursdays and the cleared funds should be available in the requested account in two working days.

It is strongly recommended that you arrange any payment terms at the beginning of the project to avoid any problems with contractors and that you do not make payments to builders in cash.

How do I request a payment from the Consents website?

When your project has been given consent and you need to draw down funds held with TMCP, you must use the payments tab on the property consents website to request payment.

When you click on the Payments tab you will see that each source of funding held with TMCP will have its own section on the form.

To create a payment request click the Create Payment Request button below the relevant section. Complete all the required information as follows:

Description - What is the payment for e.g. Pay invoice XXXX dated XX/XX/XX

Payee - Enter the name of the account which you wish the money to go into i.e. Church, Contractors etc.

Sort Code/AC No - Enter the payment details of the account you wish for the funds to be paid. Please note that for payments to CFB leave the Sort Code blank and enter your 8 digit reference, this will start and end with 0.

Amount - Enter the amount you would like TMCP to transfer (there is no need for £ or commas).

It is important to ensure that full authority has been given for the payment requested and that payee details have been carefully checked. TMCP are only acting on your instructions. When you have double checked the information click the Confirm & Submit button.

Your payment request will now need to be authorised by a second person:

For church funds – the second user will need read and update permissions for the managing trustees to authorise the payment request

For circuit funds – the authorised circuit user (normally the Superintendent Minister) will provide the authorisation for circuit funds held with TMCP.

For district funds – the payment authorisation will need to be provided by a district user with read and update permissions.

The second signatory will need to go on to the payments tab, check that all the details of the payment request are correct then click the Authorise button beneath the Manage heading on the right. A pop up screen with appear confirming your email address and the date. You will need to click the blue Authorise button again.  A further pop up screen will then confirm that the payment request has been sent to TMCP.  

If you have successfully applied for a Fund for Property grant or a Landfill Grant (via TMCP) you must also use the payments tab to request release of the grant.  The two users required to request and authorise the request should both have managing trustee read and update permissions. The payment details will be received by TMCP who will process your request and arrange for payment to be made.  

Who enters the 'confirmed' figure for Circuit and District grants?

Only the designated circuit user is able to confirm circuit funds while district users will be able to confirm district funds. They will normally be the superintendent minister and district property secretary.

Which pieces of funding can be confirmed by the Managing Trustees?

Managing Trustees can confirm the following fund types:

  1. Church Funds (Local)
  2. Church Fund (TMCP)
  3. External Grant
  4. Local Fundraising
  5. Other Funds
  6. Other Funds (TMCP)
  7. Mortgage
  8. Rank

Our buildings are in urgent need of repair and we are waiting for a bequest. Can we use this to fund our project and how do we go about releasing it?

Bequests and legacies under £20,000 can be kept by the local church in their own bank account. However, bequests or legacies over £20,000 are held with TMCP and can only be released for your project through the Trustees for Methodist Church Purposes (TMCP). You can allocate these funds to your project, but it is very important that you contact TMCP to ascertain if there are any restrictions as to their use and to ensure the funds will be available to be released on time to meet payment deadlines.

We want to sell a manse and buy another one. Can we use leftover money to fund building work on one of the circuit’s chapels?

Yes.  All sale proceeds go into the Circuit Model Trust Fund, minus a CPF Levy. The circuit can decide how they wish to use these funds.  Simply complete your Project Record, detailing the amount of funding agreed by the Circuit. Your Superintendent Minister will need to confirm the use of this money on behalf of the Circuit Meeting.

It is very important to remember that if you sell a property which is not going to be replaced by another, then the Connexional Priority Fund levy will be taken on the proceeds. Please bear this in mind if you are selling one of your properties to fund a project as it will affect your calculations.

Can we take out a mortgage to fund work needed for our building? How can I go about this?

Yes. You can mortgage your church property, but this must be done in liaison with the TMCP Legal Office, who must check and confirm the conditions of any loan made against a Methodist property.

How do we get money released from trusts/bequests for my project?

If the managing trustees decide to use funds held with TMCP for their project, these must be a confirmed part of the funding package on the project record. When final consent is given payments from these funds should be requested using the payments tab on your project when required.

We have heard that churches can benefit from VAT reductions on building costs. How can we find out if our church is eligible and how do we apply?

VAT is a very complicated area and unfortunately the Connexional Team does not offer guidance. For detailed, up to the minute information we recommend that you visit the HM Revenue and Customs website, which provides helpful advice on VAT reductions for charities (see VAT notice 708). These pages also provide advice on Gift Aid, which can help to maximise fundraising for your project.

Our chapel is a listed building. Can we make a start on fundraising before seeking approval from the Conservation Officer?

You do not need special permission to start fundraising, whatever your type of building. When and how you begin fundraising is solely down to the managing trustees.

However, if your building is listed, then it is advisable to contact the Conservation Officer at an early stage.

I have clicked Yes to the offer of fundraising guidance from the connexional team, how do they know that our church needs their help?

The Connexional Fundraising Officer has a database application which notifies them as soon as a user requests funding guidance. The Fundraising Officer will read through all the information on the website and respond with help and guidance on fundraising and external funding opportunities. If they require further information, they will contact you by email.

Help! I don't know the first thing about Business Plans and Funding Applications. How can I get the funds for my project?

The Connexional Team’s Fundraising Officer will be able to give you guidance on putting together business plans and fundraising strategies.

There may also be free sources of fundraising advice locally in the form of Council for Voluntary Services / Voluntary Action organisations - it is always worth checking.  There are also a number of free online funding databases which may be helpful. See Funding and Payments for more information

Do we need Circuit or District approval to start local/external fundraising?

No. Managing Trustees should be encouraged to start local and external fundraising as soon as the need for your project is identified. However, it is always a good idea to discuss this with your circuit/district beforehand and keep them informed of your progress as they may be able to help with advice and fundraising.

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