Churchgoers in our diocese gave on average £7 per week in 2012 according to figures released by the Church of England. The official statistics also showed that this amount remained static between 2011 and 2012. However those giving through tax efficient schemes have increased weekly donations from £9.9 to £10.
Added to this generous support for church work at a local level our church members contributed to the £46m that Church of England churches donate to other charities. A higher total than the £43.3m raised by Children in Need.
But with parish expenditure in our diocese amounting to £10.6 per person per week the message is that we need to continue to work to grow our giving base and find ways to breakthrough to the next generation of givers so we are less reliant on the older generation of faithful givers. This will inevitably involve looking at new ways of stimulating generoous Biblical giving.
So our resources team at St James House continue to look for how we can creatively support churches in increasing their giving. Chief amongst these is the nationally renowned Giving in Grace programme which remains the most significant stewardship programme a church could do. We are also considering pilot schemes for churches that look at tapping into the potential of legacy funding and rolling out a direct debit based parish giving scheme.
We are also continuing to give each parish up to date and easy to access information about their own resources. This enables them to understand their own finances more easily and to make better informed decisions about their financial future.
We want to make it easier for parishes to tap into the generosity of their congregations and to put our churches onto a strong financial footing. A well-resourced church is well placed to further its mission and ministry. We want to see well-resourced churches equipped for the future and will continue to work with our churches to see that happen. Look out for details of these new initiatives in the weeks to come.
See here for the full national figures.