Submitted by george.somers@… on

There aren’t many charities that have been supported by both King Charles II and King Charles III. But, being founded in 1655, this is the case for us.

The charity was started by City traders and the sons of clergymen, worried about the fate of their families who stayed loyal to the King during the Cromwell era. Following his accession, Charles II granted the charity a Royal Charter, and it has been under the Sovereign’s Patronage ever since.

The Trust subsequently grew through the merger of several charities, including those supporting clergy children, to become what is now Clergy Support Trust. We are the largest charity helping Anglican ministers and their families across the UK and Europe, with a wide programme of services, resources and grants.

Speaking on the announcement that King Charles III is to be our patron, Chair of Trustees, Richard Farmbrough said:

“I’m delighted that His Majesty King Charles III has accepted the Patronage of Clergy Support Trust. This feels significant as the notification came not only on the first anniversary of Their Majesties’ Coronation, but on the day after we marked 369 years of the Trust, with a congregation of more than 1,700 people attending a Festival Service at St Paul’s Cathedral.”

“We are so thankful for His Majesty’s support of the Trust, which will mean a great deal not only to staff and supporters, but to the thousands of people we are privileged to support each year across the UK and Ireland.”

Last year, 22% of clergy households in the Church of England came to the Trust for support. As well as helping with the cost-of-living, the Trust also provides support for mental and physical health, counselling, and debt relief.

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Clergy Support Trust is the largest and oldest charity focussed on the wellbeing of clergy and their families.
The Trust, originally founded in 1655, provides confidential help for Anglican clergy and their families across the UK, Ireland, Isle of Man, and Diocese in Europe. The Trust are independent, inclusive, and impartial, and we support clergy from training through to retirement.
In 2023, we provided over 6,800 grants, supporting clergy households in the Church of England with over £5.5m in grants, Church in Wales with £172,000, Church of Ireland with £141,000 and the Scottish Episcopal Church with £36,000.
Photo: Hugo Burnand / Royal Household.