How can I support the work of St James & St Paul?
Supporting the church by giving as generously as possible of your time and resources – what we call ‘stewardship’ – is an important part of church membership and Christian life. We recognise that peoples circumstances differ widely, but ask that everyone who is part of the community to think and pray carefully about and regularly review their level of financial giving and the other ways in which they support the work of the church.
Giving your “Time and Talents”
There are many ways church members give of their time and talent to contribute to the life of the church…
Sunday and Weekday Worship: Sidesmen and women, Servers, Readers, Intercessors, Eucharistic Ministers, Flower Arranging, Coffee, Cake Stall.
Children’s work: Baptism visiting , Childrens’ Liturgy (Sunday School).
Fundraising: The Organ, Restoration, Bazaars, Parish Lunches.
Maintenance: Church cleaning.
Administration: Charity Secretary & Hall Manager.
This is not a too onerous task. With regard to the work of the Additional Curate’s Society it is being a contact person and receiving and handing out the ACS magazine. With regard to the Children’s Society, it means being a contact person, keeping an eye to the Christingle Service in liaison with Fr Peter and organising the blue collection boxes. Encouraging people to have them and then taking them in at the end of the year and counting the contents.
Giving your “Treasure”
The Church of England does not receive any funding from the state, apart from some heritige funding for maintenance of historic buildings (which falls well short of the actual cost of their upkeep). Each parish is required to make an annual contribution to the diocese which, in turn, has to support the national church structures. From this income the diocese has to pay the clergy stipends (salaries), and parishes are responsible for all other running costs. St James’ is a large church with a historic building that costs a considerable amount to maintain. The main source of income for this and any parish is what its members give.
The biblical level of giving is the tithe, i.e. 10% of household income. We recognise that in modern society some of the things which the tithe covered in biblical times are now funded by other charitable donations and tax. A more realistic level might therefore be 5% of gross household income (i.e. after tax).
How to Give Efficiently
You can give via the collection plate or set up a standing order for a regular donation. If you are a UK taxpayer, by filling in a simple gift aid declaration you can allow us to reclaim tax at the basic rate, and if you are a higher rate tax payer you can claim back the additional tax for yourself via your tax return. Gift aid envelopes are provided in each pew in church for this purpose.
For example a donation of £10 when gift aided means that the Church receives £12.80, at no extra cost to you.
Regular giving can be simplified by joining the weekly envelope scheme – you then only provide your details once (held confidentially by the Gift Aid Officer) and you will be given a year’s supply of envelopes with a number to identify the donations as yours for tax purposes (only the Gift Aid Officer will know how much you give – not even the clergy will know).
Alternatively we can set up a standing order from your bank account, saving you and us the hassle of dealing with cash and cheques. Whichever method of giving you prefer, it makes our financial planning easier if you are able to give us a pledge in advance of your planned level of giving, and you can do this using the confidential pledge form available at church, or by speaking to the Gift Aid Officer.