Managing our Money

Making It Easier > Processes > Finances > Managing our Money

Good money management supports and promotes good stewardship and mission.

Each Church of England parish is a charity. Some churches, those with income over £100,000, are now required to register with the Charity Commission; many still have our historic status as 'charities excepted from registration'. But all parishes are legally charities and all PCC members are trustees of a charity. This means that all parishes are subject to the Charities Act and this section of the website addresses two important areas of church governance: the three part Annual Report and some specific financial issues. 

Some of these issues can be technical, others can be a little unfamiliar but, to slightly misquote a famous fictional character, "Help will always be given to those who ask for it." All manner of financial guidance and assistance is available for all our Church Officers and PCC members from both the Resources and Finance Teams based at St James' House.  See the right hand Contacts panel for contact details.
The Annual Report
Every year the parish will hold its annual Meeting of Parishioners (formally known as the Vestry Meeting) and the Annual Parochial Church Meeting; see the governance pages for more guidance. At the APCM the church is required to present the Annual Report. This report must be distinguished from any update or progress report the Vicar, or any groups, might make at the APCM or indeed from the minutes of the meeting. The legal requirement for this report is that it is made up of three mandatory elements and guidance is offered in this section:
  • the annual accounts of the church, the life of the church in numbers
  • the annual trustees report, the narrative which summarises key information and the achievements of the church and must include some specific items
  • the Independent Examiner's report (or where applicable, an auditor's report) which offers some independent assessment of the fiscal situation of the church.
All three elements of the Annual Report must be submitted to the Charity Commission by those churches directly registered with them and all churches are required by Church Law to submit all three elements of their Annual Report to the diocese each year.  For the Diocese of Liverpool this means all churches must submit their Annual Reports before or at their deanery Visitation service.
Some financial matters
PCC members are the Trustees of their charity with a duty of care to oversee the financial health of the church and ensure that it meets its charitable objectives. Critical to this financial health is some financial analysis and understanding and the preparation of a chuch budget. The Diocese of Liverpool is able to offer some of the best tools around for churches to do some financial analysis as well as templates and hands on guidance in preparing a church budget.

Some financial issues are more technical and in this section we offer advice on PAYE which has the potential to affect churches far more than you might imagine as well advice on parish investments which are held by the dicoese on behalf of the church.