The Diocese of Truro will be distributing £600,000 to churches this winter from a new Energy Cost Fund created to help churches tackle the cost of living and energy cost crisis.

The diocese will be adding £331,000 to the £269,000 provided by the national church as a one-off payment for this support.

Simon Cade, Diocesan Secretary, said: “The Archbishop’s Council has asked us to distribute the £269,000 they have provided before Christmas if possible. The Bishop’s Diocesan Council considered the serious challenges facing many churches this winter and made the decision to top this fund up. We have written to clergy, parish treasurers and churchwardens about the next steps.”

The Energy Cost Fund will have three elements – an energy grant paid to each PCC with an allocation per church based on energy use, a new energy mission fund available for PCC applications, and an extension of the existing clergy hardship fund.

It is anticipated that the first payments will be made to PCCs by the end of November and will be processed through the Truro Diocesan Board of Finance Ltd.

The Church of England has pledged £15 million nationally for dioceses to help churches struggling to pay energy costs.

The new funding comes after £3 million was made available earlier this year by the Church of England for dioceses to distribute to clergy and lay ministers facing particular hardship because of the cost of living crisis.

The national Energy Costs Grant also has information aimed at helping churches to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

John Spence, Chair of the Archbishops’ Council Finance Committee, said: “The Government has announced welcome support for non-domestic energy users including voluntary sector organisations such as PCCs.

“In spite of this our churches still face the challenge of significant rises in their energy bills over this winter, and that is why we have announced the Energy Costs Grant which will be in addition to Government support.

“We will keep the situation under close review throughout the winter. We hope that this new fund will provide some reassurance to churches and worshipping communities.”

PCCs have this week received a letter from the Diocesan Secretary with more details of the fund.