Supporting Mission and Ministry in our Diocese
We need to face a hard truth. Fifty years ago around three quarters of the cost of Anglican clergy was met by the Church Commissioners in London. Today much the same proportion is met by the faithful folk in church on Sunday. The way we pay for our clergy is called Parish Share and it is vitally important to every parish and congregation in our diocese. Parish Share is a mutual sharing of our financial resources between weathier and poorer parishes that quite simply makes Anglican ministry and mission possible in the diocese of Liverpool.
Parish Share is not about our buildings; it is not even about our bishops. Rather, Parish Share funds the lion's share of the cost of our parish clergy as they serve in our parishes; the rest comes from wealthier dioceses who share their resources with us. Parish Share is deeply rooted in the biblical principle of generous sharing and mutuality in the Body of Christ. St Paul spent a good part of his apostolic ministry organising a financial collection from the gentile churches for the impoverished church in Jerusalem. No less for us, Parish Share is a tangible expression of our corporate life and mutual interdependence.
Parish Share covers our Missional Leadership, most of the costs of our clergy's pay, pension, housing and training, as well as some Reader training and support for our church schools. Without Parish Share we would not be able to sustain the mission and ministry of the majority of parishes in our Diocese. And the commitment of our parishes to playing their part generously in mutual support of ministry and mission across the diocese is second to none. Thank you.
Transparency and fairness around Parish Share is important as is the need to support parishes in meeting their Share allocations. The downloads on this page show the latest allocations for parishes as well as information about how share is calculated and how we are working to sustain Parish Share and support parishes.
Parish Share Payment Plans
Liverpool has a Parish Share collection rate that is the envy of many other dioceses, somewhere around 98%. What you may not know is that a single percentage fall in the total Parish Share collection rate approximately equates to the cost of two stipendiary clergy posts. It is vital therefore that we maintain our historic high collection rates and that any decreasing trend in Parish Share payments is reversed.
Our Diocesan Synod courageously addressed this issue in 2011, committing the diocese both to support those in genuine difficulty whilst ensuring the maximum level of share is contributed. Synod expects churches that go into long-term Parish Share arrears, more than three months, to produce a Parish Share Payment Plan. The Synod paper, Reversing the Payment Trend, is found in the Downloads box.
Changing Parish Share from 2016 (very briefly explained)
Following the decision of our Diocesan Synod in 2015 the way in which we calculate the Parish Share allocation formula changed from the start of 2016. The changes are briefly summarised here; for more detailed information see the Diocesan Synod report (2015 Parish Share Review) found in the Downloads box.
In brief, the information used to allocate Parish Share assessments is:
overall cost of providing ministry (Missional Leadership) within the diocese
parish deprivation data from the Office of National Statistics
weekly attendance information for each church
Using nationally determined deprivation statistics all our parishes are ranked in order of their level of overall deprivation. This ranking is then combined with each church's weekly adult attendance to generate a score. The total fixed cost of providing ministry and missional leaders (primarily the cost of our stipendiary clergy) is then divided up between each church according to their respective score.