Diocese of ChichesterDiocese of Chichester

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An introduction to local church finance


Status of local churches

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.

Identifying the issue

Finance is seldom absent from the local church agenda. As stewards of important community assets, church councils have to exercise great care. Costs are continually rising while income fails to keep up - a scenario shared by many organisations, not just churches.

On the other hand, we are told in scripture not to worry. God does not want us to be careless, but we should not be so preoccupied with money matters that we take our eye off the ball when it comes to wider aspects of mission.

A church that is seen ‘always to be asking for money’ will not be a good witness to the loving providence of God.

Making contact

We encourage local churches to make contact to see if there's anything we can do to help with local church finance. See the 'speak to somebody' section on this page.

The following pages help to explain how finance works at the local level.

Sources of local church income - click here

Costs faced by local churches - click here

More detail on how finance works at a local, regional and national level in the Church of England - click here

Diocesan Training in day to day book-keeping, stewardship and governance

Training booklets for download

00 PCC Members Training 2018

Simple template for daily/weekly/monthly book-keeping for download

We suggest that you download the file and save it to a convenient folder on your PC. Then open the file and save it again this time with a new name such as “<Your church name> accounting 2018”.

8-17 Daily accounting template for PCC-2018

Annual Reporting templates

The revised and updated Annual Reporting templates for 2017 are now available. Please be aware that the wording of the Trustees Annual Report is for example, only. How your church demonstrates that it was of public benefit and made a difference to beneficiaries’ lives is down to how you describe your own activities in your report. This year’s training seminars were well-attended and the training booklet is also above for download if required.

As always, if you need further assistance please contact John Kemp on 01273 425797 or john.kemp@chichester.anglican.org

Your PCC does not need to prepare accruals accounts if it’s income is below £250,000. Please select either Receipts and Payments OR Accruals template below.

We suggest that you read and apply the HOWTO to ensure that the Word and Excel files link to each other


4-19_Receipts + Payments_Figures
7-17 Template R&P Examiner's Report


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Speak to somebody

At Church House we have some full-time employees, some part-time employees and some external consultants. Our aim is to provide a good service level to parishes while keeping costs down.

If you have a question about diocesan finance or the legal frameworks under which parishes and the diocese operate, please call our Finance Team on 01273 425798.

If your question is about improving income or reducing costs, call John Kemp on 01273 425797.

We welcome telephone calls and can usually put you through to the right person or ask them to call you back. Our switchboard number is 01273 421021.