At each of the Deanery Common Fund Meetings we offer support as we continue to reflect on the generosity of God and our giving.
Here are some links and resources to help you as you reflect on parish finances, one of the foundations for our mission and ministry in the Diocese. Please don’t be put off by the quantity of information we have provided: the Mission and Ministry Team in the Parish Support Office want to walk with you.
We have written a number of resources to help explain the Common Fund:
- what it is and how it works
- how mission and ministry is paid for in the diocese
- why it is important to contribute to the Common Fund
- theological reflections on ‘living generously’
The Church of England’s Parish Resources website – www.parishresources.org.uk – provides access to a wealth of practical resources to support the life and work of parishes:
- Encouraging Giving and Stewardship: www.parishresources.org.uk/giving/
Preaching and teaching on giving and stewardship; re-imagining the offertory, moving from ‘collection’ to ‘offering’, and helping to generate a sense of joyful offering in response to God’s generosity; and parish-based programmes to review giving and encouraging stewardship (including the Parish Funding Programme, Giving in Grace, a Simple Giving Programme for Smaller Churches, and Giving for Life).
- Gift Aid: www.parishresources.org.uk/giftaid/
Factsheets about Gift Aid, the government scheme that allows parishes to reclaim the tax paid on donations, including the Small Donations Scheme.
- Fundraising and Grants: www.parishresources.org.uk/resources-for-treasurers/funding/
It is a good principle for regular giving to meet day to day church running costs and routine maintenance. However, one off fundraising activities can make a significant contribution to church income.
- Friends Schemes: www.parishresources.org.uk/friends-schemes/
Many people have a great deal of good will towards their church building, especially in rural areas, and although they may not wish to contribute to the religious aspects of the church they may be willing to support part of their heritage. A Friends Scheme is one way in which a parish church can encourage help of this kind from a wider community.
- Support for Treasurers: www.parishresources.org.uk/resources-for-treasurers/
Tips for new treasurers; help for producing accounts; and guidance for managing risk and reserves.
The Diocese of Liverpool ‘Giving in Grace’ programme – www.givingingrace.org – is an enormous resource for encouraging giving and stewardship. Alongside practical tools for reviewing giving, it includes theological reflections, preaching notes and Bible studies.
The Parish Buying Parish Buying – www.parishbuying.org.uk – provides access to the ‘buying service’ provided by the Church of England. This service aims to help parishes save time and money on key areas of spend (like energy and office supplies) so that money is released to spend on mission and ministry.
The Church Legacy website – www.churchlegacy.org.uk – provides information about how to encourage individuals to remember the Church in their wills. Parishes receive over 5,000 legacies each year – gifts to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings and grow faithful communities. These gifts make a real difference to the future work of the Church – as regular giving often concentrates on maintaining the existing mission and ministry.