Giving in Grace
A Stewardship Programme for the Parish
Giving in Grace is our practical approach to the challenge we all share as stewards of the Parish. Each of us is being called to reflect and to act upon and prayerfully reviewing our individual contribution to the life of our Parish. This is a call to each of us to Give in Grace in order to sustain our Parish financially and in its Ministry and Mission. This Church like all others needs money to pay the bills and moreover to do what we are here to do: the ministry and mission of God. The money that we need comes from the generous giving of parishioners….. of stewards….. it comes from each of us.
For some time now our annual running costs have been more than the amount of our regular income. Last year this short fall was £30,000 which means that as every week goes by our financial reserves (or our ‘rainy day money’) reduces by £577. Fortunately, we do have reserves that have come from fund raising or from gifts in wills – but at the current rate these funds will have all gone long before many of our ‘Jigsaw’ children get half way through their secondary school education.
A recent review of our Parish finances found;
- The average giving per ‘planned giver’ (IE those that give through either Blue Envelopes or by Standing Order) was around £6.50 per week which compared to the Preston Deanery average of £10.70 per week
- Just over half of Parish planned givers gave less than £3.00 per week and around 25% gave less than £1.50 per week……… that’s less than a brew in Costa or Starbucks!
- On a positive note around three quarters of us are ‘planned givers’ which means that the parish has more certainty around its flow of income.
- Collection plate giving in cash that isn’t enclosed in a completed and signed brown envelope cannot benefit from the ‘gift aid’ scheme which adds an extra 25p from the tax man for every £1 gifted.
- Planned, regular, Gift Aided giving will make a big difference. If we could all convert from plate giving to planned giving, ideally by standing order, AND if we tax payers all ensure that we have completed a ‘gift aid’ form, our Treasurer may begin to rest a little easier.
Any good steward would of course start by ensuring that waste is identified and minimised – with this in mind the PCC have established a work group to review and challenge all areas of expenditure. What has quickly become clear is that those responsible have done a good job in keeping a close control for many years, but it does no harm to bring fresh insight to see whether things can be improved further.
Our Parish ambition, is to grow our wider mission through increased ministry;
- to our children and our youth,
- to the elderly and through our care for the wider community, the bereaved and the sick,
- via our welcome to those coming for marriage and baptisms
- and our help for those in need, both at home and abroad.
In Shaun, Rie, Pauline, Arthur, Andrea and Jim, we have a strong, forward looking Ministry team that must be the envy of many a Parish. We have a large volunteer team all doing their bit to make the whole of our Parish work week in and week out – all are valued and more help is always welcomed.
Giving in Grace is about our church, our Parish and our ministry and mission.
Giving in Grace is about our challenge and the choices we each make in our personal stewardship of our church in the widest sense of the word – the physical buildings and our care of them for future generations yes – but also, and more importantly our stewardship legacy – to work to ensure a strong, healthy and vibrant church community.
How can I help?
By doing the following 3 steps can make a difference:
- Read through the information brochure, ask questions, talk about Church finances and prayerfully review your own personal giving to the church
- Complete and return the relevant form(s) to: Parish Office, Broadway, Fulwood, Preston PR2 9TE
- To optimise your giving, by ensuring that it is tax efficient through gift aid, if you are a tax payer
If you have any questions about Giving in Grace, Planned giving (standing order or blue envelope), Gift Aid or leaving a legacy then please contact Vicki Thornley, Parish Administrator on 01772 713880 or firstname.lastname@example.org
A prayer of stewardship.
My parish is composed of people like me – I help make it what it is.
It will be friendly – if I am.
Its pews will be filled – if I help fill them.
It will do great work – if I work.
It will make generous gifts – if I am a generous giver.
It will bring other people into its worship and fellowship – if I invite and bring them in.
It will be a church of love and faith – if I, who make it what it is, am filled with these same things.
Therefore, with the help of God, I will dedicate myself to the task of being all the things that I want my parish to be.