Our Making It Easier day on 27th February will help you run your parish well.
This week we look at managing your parish finances with Gordon, Kim, Cath and Steve from our Resources Team.
Building on their well-received finance conferences, our Resources team will offer a range of workshops on increasing income, including the highly significant Parish Giving Scheme, as well as technical subjects such as Gift Aid and Charity Commission regulation.
If you’re thinking of taking on a role with your PCC, or if you’re already involved with a Finance or Stewardship Committee, there’s something here to help you understand your responsibility and fulfil your potential as good stewards of God’s mission and ministry.
Finance Resources Officer Cath Gaskell explained: “The role of our Resources Team is to make your financial administration as easy as it can be, while understanding and fulfilling what is required of us by law, so our churches can thrive not just survive.”
Parish Giving Scheme - saving you time, increasing your churches income
Cath is offering the same workshop four times throughout the day on the Parish Giving Scheme, to save you time, increase planned giving to your church and improve your churches cash flow.
She explained: “Do you want to save volunteers time, increase church income, reduce church administration and improve cash flow? Then the free to join Parish Giving Scheme is what you are looking for. More than a quarter of our churches have already joined in the last year. They have seen that their givers are in total control of their giving and, since the Gift Aid claim and other administration is completed by the Parish Giving Scheme team, their treasurers and Gift Aid Secretaries have more spare time. With the hugely popular option for givers to inflate their giving they have also seen giving increase and cash flow improve.”
Beyond the collection plate
Steve Pierce is the Director of Learning and Stewardship in our Diocese. Steve says: “We all have a duty of care to manage our church’s finance’s with transparency, accountability and integrity. This will help us achieve our vision for a church that is financially stable and able to resource God’s ministry and mission.”
Steve's workshop Beyond the Collection Plate draws on themes from his popular book. It will open up ideas for churches to explore and generate income from a range of different sources and to develop a strategy for funding the fabric, ministry and mission of their church.
Beyond the Collection Plate stresses the importance of stewarding existing resources and of cultivating generosity in church congregations, while considering how new income streams can be developed including: nurturing planned giving; the role of Friends groups, digital giving, legacies, Gift Aid and more.
As part of the Beyond the Collection Plate stream Ruth Tormey of Christian Aid is offering a workshop, Developing a Legacy Strategy, on gifts in wills, worth some £2 billion a year to UK charities and nearly £50 million a year to the Church of England. This workshop offers practical advice on how to develop a sensitive and effective legacy strategy and to produce simple literature which tells how legacies make a lasting difference to life of the local church.
Our churches have many friends outside of our regular congregations who are willing help us, if we ask. The workshop, Starting a church Friends Group, led by Steve Pierce, explores the possibilities, practicalities and occasional pitfalls in setting up a Friends group to offer financial support for our church.
Growing and protecting our reputation as servants of the community
Resources Officer Gordon Fath is offering four different workshops. The first is on parochial fees. He explained: “All of the statutory parochial fees - for weddings, funerals and burials - are owned by one of two charities. We’ll look at who these charities are and how the money must be recorded and handled.”
His second workshop is on the Charity Commission’s Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP). Gordon said: “Our PCCs are charities and contrary to popular belief, the Church of England is not exempt from any charity regulation. I’m here to help you navigate your way through to best practice.”
Gordon’s third workshop is on Pay As You Earn (PAYE) & Pensions. Gordon pointed out that “any special arrangement the church might have had with HMRC is long gone. All churches are required to follow all current regulations around payments and providing workplace pensions.” This workshop will guide you through the latest policy and legislation as it affects your PCC as a small employer.
Finally, Gordon will explore Internal Financial Controls (IFC). He added: “These are the procedures and policies we must follow to ensure that the money we are given by the public is properly managed and safely handled. Good financial control is about growing and protecting our reputation as servants of the community.”
Gift Aid and Small Donations Scheme
Kim Stanley, Gift Aid and Information Systems Officer, is offering two workshops, each in two parts. The morning sessions are on the basics of managing Gift Aid
, for those who are new to the scheme. She explained: “Gift Aid allows your givers to increase the value of gifts to your church at no additional cost to themselves. A gift of £10 from a UK tax payer giving under Gift Aid is worth £12.50 to your church. Gift Aid has its advantages and a few important requirements – we’ll take you through these on the day.”
Her second theme is about making it easier to make small change count through the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme
. Kim added: “In this workshop you will find out what you need to do to take advantage of this generous Government scheme, including recent changes to the situation for Church of England churches. I will also cover claiming online.”
Click here for more details of the Making It Easier Day on 27th February.
To contact our Resources Team at St James' House, email firstname.lastname@example.org.