The vision of the Trust is to train gospel workers who will share the good news of Jesus Christ with the people of Scotland. The primary purpose of the Trust is to provide funding for this training.

Since its launch the Trust has focused its work on promoting Ministry Apprenticeship Programmes in churches and funding individual apprentices. It’s been encouraging to see these programmes beginning in a number of churches across Scotland and people being trained. We’d be happy to come and talk to you or a group from your church about starting an Apprenticeship Programme. The Trust has now expanded its work and also funds exceptional individuals in their post-apprenticeship training through ‘Leaders in Training’ grants. We believe this is an important next step in training leaders for the Church in Scotland.

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 works for HMRC and is an Elder at Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Alan MacKenzie is an actuary and Clerk to the Elders of Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

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

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


The Trust takes its name from Horatius Bonar, “prince of Scottish hymn writers” and first minister of Chalmers Memorial Free Church. The Trust was established by the present-day congregation in 2009. 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.