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NEW: a 'proportional giving worksheet' has been designed to help individuals assess their level of giving to the local church. To access a printable version of it, click or tap here.
Contents of this page
We hope you'll find this page, which is a 'work in progress', helpful. To go to any section, just click the link from the content list below.
Parish dashboard: this is a summary sheet showing key attendance statistics for the last ten years. Here's a fictitious sample. If you would like one for your parish, please call or email John Sherlock (01273 425685)
Parish diagnostic: This is a 'rough guide' to local church activity in four areas: engagement, participation in planned giving, average weekly gift and efficiency. We have 'top' deaneries in our diocese for each factor: top engagement is over 6%, top participation is over 90%, top average weekly gift is over £15, and top efficiency is over 116%. If you would like to receive your 'diagnostic' please call or email John Sherlock (01273 425685)
Parish spotlights: In 2014 the Church of England provided us with a 'spotlight' of every parish in the land. Not only does this include demographic data, but it also includes some key statistics about local church performance. If you would like to receive your 'spotlight' please call or email John Sherlock (01273 425685)
Money and the diocesan strategy
In 2013 we were focused on efficiency. This may sound boring, but unless the household of God is demonstrably efficient in its handling of inward donations then we won't be seen as a good target for the community's generosity. Efficiency includes making sure we are using the best systems, and claiming every penny of tax back through Gift Aid. The Parish Giving Scheme was the major diocesan initiative for improving efficiency in 2013. Click here for more information about the PGS.
In 2014 there was an increasing focus on how much is given by churchgoers. This is traditional 'stewardship' territory. Some local churches are exemplary, other less so.
If you haven't run a campaign in your parish for a while, now is the time! You can click here to download a chart showing the common elements to all programmes, or click here for a good link to a listing of the various programmes available.
Then, in 2015, as the Diocesan 'Vision for Growth' was launched we concentrated more on widening the net, getting more and more people involved in planned giving.
2016 was been designated a 'year of mercy'. It was a time to reflect on the generosity of God and how this might be reflected in our own generosity towards the work of the Church in Sussex.
2017 is being celebrated as the Year of the Bible, which has more then 2000 verses relating to money and wealth!
There isn't a shortage of money - either assets or income - in Sussex. Of course we have areas of deprivation, like every other part of the country, and we are not immune to recession. But our primary problem is more about seeing local churches harnessing the abundance of their local areas - or establishing reasons to be subsidised by the wider church. We still need to see an increasing proportion of Sussex money put towards church activities and projects.
A funding strategy for the local church
Growing Local Church Income: Click here to download a useful booklet that discusses all aspects of financing a local church operation.
Local church 'money' checklist: Click here for a useful checklist that could be used at PCC meetings to help you strategise.
Why people value their church: Click here for some thoughts on the different reasons that people value their local church.
Assembling a team
Click here for some good material on managing teams of volunteers.
Click here for a 'job spec' for a Local Church Giving Officer
Organising a campaign
There are many resources and programmes that may help local churches.
On of the best places to start is this link (click here) on the Parish Resources website. From here you'll be signposted to all the different resources and programmes to help you organise a local campaign.
Maximising income from occasional visitors
Whatever you do, don't make your building feel like a place that people feel they have to 'pay to enter'.
However, there may be ways in which you can convert the footfall in the building into a more realistic revenue stream.
Click here for a model Gift Aid envelope that encourages a realistic donation, conforms to the latest Gift Aid requirements and also serves as a contact aid.
Other good ideas
Here are some useful links:
www.parishresources.org.uk - a national website covering all aspects of stewardship in the local church
www.churchlegacy.org.uk - another national site with information about gifts in wills, or legacies
www.parishbuying.org.uk - use the buying power of the national church to save money on your church procurements