Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

Page title here

Typical sources of parish income

Local parish churches are independent charities. The members of the church council (the PCC or Parochial Church Council) are trustees of the charity. If the annual turnover of the church exceeds £100k, then the charity needs to be registered with the Charity Commission.

Each local parish has its own sources of income. Some are one-off lump sums and some will be regular.

Examples of one-off lump sums are

  • donations in response to capital appeals
  • grants
  • legacies

Examples of regular income are

  • regular donations by church attenders
  • hall lettings
  • magazine subscriptions

For most local churches, by far the largest source of income is made up of donations.


Local churches welcome donations of any size and any frequency. In practice, regular donations (often called Planned Giving) are the most helpful to the local church, because they enable budgeting to be undertaken.

The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) may be a useful tool for helping a local church improve the efficiency of planned giving. If you would like more information about it, just click here.


Of course, it's not just money that keeps a local church going. A huge amount of volunteer time and energy is contributed to a wide range of tasks. Some of these tasks are the responsibility of particular Officers, such as Church Wardens, Treasurers, and Readers.

Being good stewards

Making financial ends meet (or finding that the ends are not meeting) can be a source of real stress to Clergy and volunteer Officers. So all who value the presence of the local church in the community are encouraged to contribute by giving a regular financial donation, or their energy, or both!

This contribution of money and/or energy is sometimes called Christian Stewardship. In fact, stewardship is more a frame of mind in which we understand that The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it (the beginning of Psalm 24).

This understanding can be very liberating - for it releases the wealth and gifts of the community.

Is this the information you're looking for?

If not, try clicking here