£162k Granted to Gospel Training
Another December, another round of Training Fund grants! It constantly amazes me how when we think the fund might be on its last legs we get additional resources to re-distribute. What a joy!
Before December’s meeting, we had distributed £1,953,905 in over 180 awards. Our latest grant decisions mean that we’ve now comfortably topped £2m in help given.
This time around there were again a diverse set of applications that we were able to support. We were encouraged to see there was still a mix of places - city centre, urban deprived, rural, small-town - and people - men and women training for both classic leadership roles, but also some of the less obvious roles. One included a trainee youth worker part-funded with a local authority.
Facts and figures
In total, we agreed to distribute about £162,000 in ten different grants. In addition, we were able to provide some additional funding to a church where we only provided half the last time around due to a lack of funds. Not all these applications had individuals in view, although most did. For those that did not, we have ring-fenced the money for 12 months whilst they search for someone.
Grants were provided to people studying at Oak Hill College, Crosslands, Union School of Theology, and the Midlands Ministry Training Course, plus a couple of in-house programmes. Most were for two years, though some were just twelve months.
The vast bulk of the money was from a closed church where the building was sold and the funds released to FIEC. We don’t use those kinds of funds to pay for internal costs (which are all paid for by church donations) - rather we seek to redistribute the money, like in this case with the Training Fund.
In many ways, this kind of funding is bittersweet. There’s a sadness in a church closure and an opportunity for witness gone in a certain area. But there’s also joy that the original founders had the vision to ensure that closed church funds are put to gospel use (it’s not a given!) and that gospel ministry is being supported.
The rest of the money was sourced from individuals and churches who share our vision for seeing men and women trained for ministry. In many ways, these kinds of gifts – though often smaller – are more meaningful. They show that people have grasped what we are trying to do and see the Training Fund as just one way of fulfilling that biblical mandate in 2 Corinthians 8 and 9.
Apply for a funding grant
Our next Training Fund meeting is in May and applications will close at the end of March. If you are interested in supporting the fund, or making an application for the first time, I’d love to talk things through with you (select 'Training & the Training Fund').
For now, join me in thanking God for his goodness and generosity and praying that these gifts would have a long-lasting effect in the church of our Saviour Jesus.