The vision of the Trust is investing in training the next generation of leaders for the Church in Scotland.

Since its launch the Trust has focused  on promoting Ministry Apprenticeship and Minister in Training Programmes in churches and funding individuals on such programmes. We’d be happy to come and talk to you or a group from your church about training in your church.

Our Trustees

Robin Sydserff is the Chairman of the Bonar Trust. He is minister of Chalmers Church Edinburgh and was formerly Director of Ministry at The Proclamation Trust in London.

Paul Clarke is minister of St Andrews Free Church and was formerly on the Senior Staff at St Helen’s Bishopsgate in the City of London.

Neil MacDonald worked for HMRC and is a member of Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Alan MacKenzie is an actuary and Elder at Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Norman Martin is a Corporate Partner with Macroberts LLP and is an Elder at Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Alan Paterson was a partner in Baillie Gifford & Co and is an elder at Bellevue Chapel, Edinburgh.

Rachel Sloan is Women’s Ministry Coordinator at Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh. Before this role she was supported by the Trust.

Hamish Sneddon is Assistant Minister at St. Andrews Free Church, with particular oversight of the training of both staff and church family. Prior to this he was funded by the Trust.


The Trust takes its name from Horatius Bonar, “prince of Scottish hymn writers” and first minister of Chalmers Memorial Free Church. A striking feature of the nineteenth century, when Bonar lived, was the investment in the next generation of leaders through the influence of leaders like Thomas Chalmers. The Trust was established by the present-day congregation in 2009, now Chalmers Church Edinburgh. The congregation has a long heritage of training people for ministry and this commitment was at the root of the church establishing the Trust. The congregation wanted to play its small part as a church, building not only on its heritage but also on its current strengths and strategic location in the centre of Edinburgh, Scotland’s capital city.

In August 2010 The Bonar Trust made its first grants to support people embarking on a Ministry Associate Programme, and in August 2013 the Trust expanded its work by making its first grants to individuals starting Minister in Training programmes. To date, the Trust has funded over 100 individuals.