The Apostle Paul likens the Church to the human body. Just as our bodies have many members with different functions – feet, hands, ears, eyes – so the Apostle Paul says that the Church is made up from many members with different gifts. And just as our bodies need all the members to work together, so the Apostle Paul says that the Church needs each of us to work together for the common good.
We can think of our Diocese being like the human body, requiring each of us to work together for the common good. Parishes blessed with resources – people, money – generously offer their resources in service to support parishes with fewer resources. Through such generosity there is mutual flourishing.
Introduction to the Common Fund
In 2017, we introduced the Common Fund as a practical way to share our financial resources across the Diocese. Rather than each parish paying for its own stipendiary clergy and all the other costs of ministry, through our contributions to the Common Fund we pool our financial resources so that richer parishes can support poorer ones.
This means that we can put stipendiary clergy in the places where they are needed most. Specifically, the contributions to the Common Fund by a more affluent parish may exceed the costs of ministry in the parish; the generosity of that parish allows us to put stipendiary clergy in a less affluent parish that would otherwise be unable to afford the costs of ministry.
To help our staff in the Parish Support Office to budget and pay our bills, we are asking each PCC to make an annual pledge of the requested amount they will contribute to the Common Fund.
We ask each PCC to be realistic, challenging and generous as they consider prayerfully their contribution to the Common Fund so that mission and ministry is supported in every parish across our Diocese. What we receive from our parishes goes directly back out to support mission and ministry.
We are all members of the same body: how will we contribute to our mutual flourishing?
Common Fund to date
We received £4,669,558 (91.1%) of the amount requested in 2016, and £4,721,558 (91.7%) of the amount requested in 2017.
In 2018 we requested £5,000,000 and are forecast to receive approximately £4,679,000 (91.6%), despite our actual costs being £6,400,000.
This has made a great impact on our diocesan finances, so we want to say ‘Thank you’ for all that you are doing to ensure that God’s Mission and Ministry is well resourced. Our aspiration for 2019 and beyond is to receive 100% of pledges.
Where the money goes
For each Parish or Benefice, the cost of Mission and Ministry is £70,200 (2019 estimate).
This is made up of:
- National Insurance and Pension Contribution
- Ministerial Housing
- Training & other Ministry Support
- Wider Church Responsibilities
- Contributions to National Church
- Parish Support, Admin and Governance
- Partners - including Board of Education
- Other statutory requirements
Our onward journey together
What we receive from Common Fund pledges at the moment does not cover the full cost of ministry so going forward in order for us to maintain ministry and grow the mission of the church we still need to increase our level of giving.
So please as we journey on together, we give grateful Thanks for all God’s Generosity to us and pray that we too can reach out in generosity of spirit so that “Christ’s presence reaches every community”
Parish Pledges – what next?
Parish Treasurers will receive their 2019 Common Fund letter in November 2018
PCC’s are asked to think carefully and prayerfully about how they will support Common Fund in 2019
To help with forecasting, Parishes should submit their indicative pledges by 28 February 2019 to email@example.com
For more information on the Common Fund, please contact:
Head of Finance