Jane Cart's Trust

The Community Foundation manages the day to day operations of the

Jane Cart's Trust. For details on who qualifies for support and how to apply,

please go to the end of this page.


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


“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



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 theDiocese of St. Albans.

Grants Criteria

The Trust now makes grants according to the following categories:

General living costs – assistance with day to day living expenses to relieve the

burden of those on low incomes. The general payment under this category is

currently £800 per year.

Special needs - capital (one off purchases/repairs) or revenue payments for

expenses with a maximum payment of £5,000. Higher sums can be considered

in exceptional circumstances and only at the discretion of the Trustees

according to the funds available at the time. Qualifying issues might include,

for example, convalescent or recuperative care, medical equipment or

treatment not available through the NHS, capital purchases to improve the

home or other pressing needs.

Retiring clergy – a one off £500 payment to clergy from the Diocese of St Albans

only, upon their retirement. In this instance, the grant should be made automatically, on receipt of a request from the Diocese, but please contact us if this isn't the case.

Retreats for clergy – meeting the costs of a retreat at St Mary & Martha or a simialr venue to any

member of the clergy in the Diocese of St Albans after 20 years in ministry. Again, the Diocese should contact qualifying clergy to arrange this.

To make an application for support, please use the form here.