Parish Share Review Group publishes final working paper

Following initial feedback from Diocesan Synod the working group set up in 2013 to look at options for the future of Parish Share has published its final report and recommendations. The report will be discussed and debated at Diocesan Synod in March.

Our current Parish Share system is authorised until 2015 and the group were mandated by Synod to recommend the way forward. In September 2014 synod debated two options
Option 1 – an update to the current system
Option 2 – a new Deanery system

Synod voted for option one feeling that despite significant attractions to the second option this was too great a step for our diocese at this point.

Synod raised a number of issues around the first option which the working group’s paper seeks to address. The group have made 9 recommendations in this paper which has a worked through proposal for adoption from January 1st 2016. The proposal includes a recommendation that, as part of the Transforming Wigan project, Wigan Deanery pilots Option 2.

Like all dioceses parish share is a key issue for us. It’s the main way we fund local ministry costs and is fundamental to both our sustainability as a diocese and our ability to invest in growth in our parishes. It is also the biggest expenditure line in most parish budgets and so inevitably can be the biggest bone of contention between a parish and the Diocese of Liverpool.

Yet our realistic dialogue means that we collect an impressive 98% of the due share. This is the envy of many and says a lot about the generosity and commitment of parishes. This level of contribution is difficult, requiring sacrifice and generosity which is recognised by the Board of Finance.

Parishes and others with an interest in the Parish Share system should read the paper carefully feeding any comments they wish to make to their synod rep ahead of March’s diocesan synod meeting.

The Review Group was made up of the following: 
2 members from the DBF Finance Committee 
Rev Mark Stanford (Chair), Holy Trinity Formby – Sefton deanery 
Peter Owen, St Luke’s Crosby – Sefton 
6 members from Diocesan Synod 
Rev Amanda Fairclough, NSM, St Margaret Orford, General Synod – Warrington 
Rev Simon Fisher, St John Tuebrook – West Derby 
Adrian Hardy, Treasurer, Wigan St Michael – Wigan 
Rev Richard Jones, St John Burscough – Ormskirk 
Rev Bill Matthews, Eccleston St Thomas/St Helen St Mark – St Helens 
Philip Stott, Billinge St Aidan, Bishop’s Council – Wigan 
The group was serviced by staff at St James’ House