Conditions and Criteria 

The grants we offer are funded by a grant SEBA receives from the Baptist Union (BUGB) as a share of the national giving to Home Mission and so we have a responsibility to make sure that this money is used wisely and for the extension of God’s Kingdom in our region. As a result, there are some conditions which apply to any church or project in receipt of a grant.

First and foremost a church or project applying for a grant must be in membership with BUGB and with SEBA. However, an application can be made by a ‘worshipping community’ that has yet to be constituted as a church where the understanding is that once a church has been constituted, they will join BUGB and the Association.
A church applying for a grant should be –

  • giving to Baptist Home Mission at least 5% of their general income
  • able to demonstrate their commitment to the wider Baptist family – locally, regionally and nationally
  • able to clearly explain their mission vision and plans
The church will need to complete the application paperwork each year a grant is requested.  As part of the application the Association will undertake a formal process from which a report will be written and presented to the SEBA Leadership Team for final approval by the September prior to the grant beginning in the January the following year.  
  • Grants are normally only paid in respect of the stipend for an Accredited Baptist Minister (including Newly Accredited Ministers) or a Minister-in-Training at a Baptist College and will not normally exceed 50% of the recommended National Minimum Stipend
  • All grant supported churches should pay their minister a stipend no less, or no more, than the National Minimum Stipend agreed each year by the BUGB Trustees and adhere to the recommended Terms of Appointment agreed by the BUGB National Settlement Team. Churches should also pay their minister all legitimate expenses incurred in the performance of their duties. 
  • The church should ensure that giving by the church to non-Baptist causes does not normally exceed 50% of the total given by the church to Home Mission and BMS World Mission. 
  • Churches are normally expected to reduce their grant application by at least five percentage points each year. (This means that an application for a 50% grant should normally be followed by one for a 45% grant the following year and a 40% grant the year after). 
  • Churches who are being paid a grant to help support the cost of a Minister-in-Training should not be contributing to the college fees of that Minister-in-Training. 
  • Grants will not normally be given to churches with paid staff other than the minister for whom grant support is requested. 
  • Grants are paid monthly direct to the church’s own bank account for those months when a minister is in post. 

When a Minister is known to be leaving the church, the Association will arrange a review in order to consider the appropriateness of future applications. 
A church cannot assume each year that because it has had a grant in the current year that the Association will automatically award a grant in the following year. 

As part of the application process we may want to arrange a formal meeting with the Minister and other members of the church leadership (e.g. church secretary, treasurer, deacons and elders) at the church itself or possibly at a location elsewhere in the Association.  This meeting will take place only after all the application documentation church has been submitted and has five specific objectives:

  • to provide encouragement to the leadership and membership of the church or project 
  • to sense and report back to the SEBA Leadership Team on the spiritual life and ‘mission-heart’ of the fellowship along with its mission plans for the next three years 
  • to assess and report to the SEBA Leadership Team on the financial situation of the church 
  • to offer guidance and continued support to the church or project over the coming year 
  • to bring a proposal to the SEBA Leadership Team as to the level of Home Mission Grant the church or project should receive in the following year                                     

Please note:
All applications must be returned in full by May 3st and no application will be considered until ALL the required forms have been submitted, including ‘examined’ final Church Accounts and budgets. 
With a limited supply of funding from Home Mission, from which we can award grants to SEBA churches and projects we will sometimes need to make tough decisions on how we allocate the funds and a request for funding is not a guarantee that all, or any, of the requested funds will be allocated.