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Jane Cart Trust

To provide support to church of England Clergy widows/ers and the maiden daughters of clergy (the latter when aged over 45) and where that member of the clergy currently or in the past lives/lived or works/worked in the Diocese of St.Albans

The Community Foundation manages the day to day operations of the Jane Cart’s Trust. This is a specialist fund with applications being considered by Trust members – for more information contact the administrator on 01525 306690 or email [email protected]

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Jane Cart died in 1736 at the age of 83 years. Born in Dunstable, she retired there after the death of her husband in 1706. Not only did she out live him, but also her nine children, and all her brothers and sisters. The family distilling business in the City of London had been very successful, so she was left a very wealthy widow. Being a vigorous supporter of the Church, she contributed generously to charitable causes in the area, building alms houses, co-founding a boys’ school, donating communion plate for local churches etc. Shortly before her death she took steps to perpetuate these good works by setting up a Trust with five Trustees and a Clerk, to which she transferred all her properties, and which was charged with the task of administering the properties and distributing the annual revenue to specific beneficiaries.

After her death her Will transferred her other investments to the Trust along with further specific instructions. Any annual surplus after these instructions had been satisfied, the Trustees were to distribute to deserving persons within categories stipulated by her.

These are clearly expressed in the dedication inscribed on her Memorial in the north aisle of the Priory Church in Dunstable, of which the following is an extract:

“Besides several other useful and lasting benefactions, the Surplus of a large Estate by her bequeathed for the annual Relief of poor Clergymen their Widows and Daughters, will be (it is hop’d) an abiding Memorial of her pure Religion, and hearty Affection to the Church of England to the latest Posterity.”

Since that time Mrs Jane Cart’s Trust, and its successive Trustees, have continued to manage the Trust’s assets and for many years they have distributed available surpluses by making cash donations to deserving clergy and their dependents.

The Trust originated from the benefactions of Mrs Jane Cart (1653 – 1736), a resident of Dunstable, and for many years the Trust ran a group of Almshouses in Dunstable for single women. With their sale, the Trust now supports other Almshouses or other charities housing single women in need near Dunstable.

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  • General Living Costs – payment up to £1,250
  • Special Needs Criteria – a maximum payment of £5,000
  • Newly Appointed/Retiring Clergy – one off £1,000 payment
  • Retreats for Clergy – minimum 15 years in the ministry

The object of the Charity is to provide support to Church of England clergy, clergy widows/ers and the maiden daughters of clergy (the latter when aged over 45) and where that member of the clergy currently or in the past lives/lived or works/worked in the Diocese of St. Albans.

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Grants Criteria

The Trust makes grants to individual members of the clergy, clergy widows and clergy widowers provided the clergy member currently works or previously worked in the Diocese of St Albans.  Grant applications are considered in the following categories:

  • Standard Living Grant for clergy and their dependents – an annual means-tested grant to support those facing exceptional costs and circumstances with a typical payment of £1250.
  • Special Grant for clergy and their dependents – a one-off grant up to £5000 to mitigate financial hardship which has arisen due to unforeseen circumstances such as illness or accident. We will also consider applications for grants to support the wellbeing of clergy, including respite and vacation.
  • Newly appointed and retiring clergy – a one-off £1000 grant to clergy arriving or retiring in the Diocese of St Albans only. In these cases, grants are paid on request and endorsement by the Diocese.
  • Retreats for clergy – applications for a grant to meet the costs of a retreat at St Mary & Martha or a similar venue will be considered from any member of the clergy in the Diocese of St Albans after 20 years in ministry.

Grant-making Process

All eligible grant requests will go through a three-stage process as follows:

  • Review of information provided and clarification as necessary
  • Review of application by the Grants Committee
  • Approval by the Trustees at next Board meeting

Unless there are compelling reasons, the Trust will not normally make grants to support private education, private medical and healthcare costs, rental or mortgage payments, motor car acquisition, debt repayment or office equipment.

The Grant Administration team will be happy to provide further guidance.

A copy of the application form can be found here: JCT application form updated May 2021.

For information please contact 01525 306690 or email [email protected]