Church Finance

Finance

Have you ever wondered

  • who pays the vicar?
  • who repairs the church?
  • where the collection at church ends up?
  • why some people use coloured envelopes?
  • why some people do not put money on the collection plate?

This webpage attempts to clarify some of these issues.

How much does it cost to run the united Anglican Methodist Church in Sturry, Fordwich, Westbere and Hersden?

It costs about £88,000 each year to run the united Anglican Methodist church in Sturry, Fordwich, Westbere and Hersden. This works out as an average of about £1,692 per week.

Church Expenses

Below is a breakdown of how our money is spent. There are also, at the end of this page, some notes for guidance in the form of "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQs) about giving

 Whole Year Per week
Diocesan share and Methodist assessment - includes paying the wages and pensions of our Rector and Methodist minister £57,000 £1096
Church building costs - insurance, rates, heating, lighting, repairs and maintenance, services £16,500 £317
Costs of services, materials, clergy expenses, etc. £10,650 £205
Donations £3,850 £74
Total £88,000 £1,692

Explanation of Diocesan Share and Methodist Assessment;

Our biggest expense is our Rector and a share in our Methodist minister. While they lead the ministry of the parish, they need a stipend to live on (effectively a salary) and a vicarage to live in - as well as pension provision and insurance. But we don't pay this directly - the diocese and methodist district pays it and we pay them.

The payment we make includes an amount to cover central costs for the Diocese and Methodist District such as training and running the payroll, and also for the Church as a whole. This cost will be going up substantially over the next few years, not just because of inflation but because subsidies from central church funds have been cut

Church building maintenance costs

The next biggest expense are our church buildings, St Nicholas' Church, Sturry and All Saints' Church, Westbere. These have to be heated, cleaned, maintained and insured - and this doesn't come cheap.

Other service costs

Our services and all our other activities cost money. We have to buy supplies like candles, communion wine and materials for our services such as service books and hymn books. We have to pay some of our musicians. There are administrative expenses (stationery, printing and postage) of the parish office and for the parish magazine. They are all small things - but they mount up!

Donations

We also believe it is right to support the work of the church beyond the parish and other charitable work. This includes money given to The Children's Society that is collected at the weekly Pram and Buggy service and in individual boxes. It also includes donations to SAMS from fund raising activities.


Church Income

The majority of the church income comes from individuals within the church. A smaller amount of income comes from fund-raising activities and interest from investment. We also get income from magazine sales and church fees.

 Whole Year Per week
Gift-Aid Giving £26,245 £505
Income Tax Recovered £7,180 £138
Non Gift-Aid Giving £4,580 £88
Donations, diocesan grant and Interest £22,145 £426
Fund-raising activities (such as coffee morning and church fairs) £8,600 £165
Magazine income £2,840 £55
Church fees £6,725 £129
Total £78,315 £1,506

Explanation of Gift-Aid Giving and Income Tax Recovered

The government does NOT pay the Rector's or the Methodist minister's salary. But the government does allow the church, as a charity, to claim back any tax paid on donations to the church through the Gift Aid scheme. This significantly increases the value of the donations made, as the above table shows.

Many people now prefer to give monthly or weekly by standing order direct from their bank account, and this may be why many church members are never seen putting anything in the collection plate.

Many church members plan their giving in a regular way and use the orange envelopes to help claim back tax from the Gift Aid scheme; just mark the orange envelope with your name and postcode. Inside the envelope you can put either cash or a cheque made payable to SADAMC (which is short for Sturry And District Anglican Methodist Church).

Fund raising activities

Most of the church's income is from direct giving and this is used to cover the running costs of the church. Fund raising activities, such as coffee morning and the church fairs also raise money for the church development fund. This is used for improvements within the church such as the disabled loo, the sound system and hearing loop in Sturry church.

Magazine Income

Income from the magazine covers the costs of printing.

Church Fees

Church Fees for weddings and funerals, the amounts for which are determined by statute, are paid to the parish to cover the basic cost of providing the service. However, in addition, many people choose to have extras, which incur additional fees that are paid to the people doing the work. These include bell ringers, verger, organist and choir. There are also contributions within the total fee charged towards the cost of heating (in winter) and general upkeep of the church buildings.


TRIO - The Responsibility Is Ours

In the "TRIO" campaign , every member of the church was asked to take seriously his or her responsibility for the church's financial health. Church members were asked to:

  • review prayerfully their giving to the church. Is it an adequate response to all that God has done for you and the needs of the church, bearing in mind their personal circumstances?
  • give proportionately to their income, so that, when their income goes up what they give to the church goes up in proportion. And if their income goes down, what they give to the church goes down in proportion.
  • join the planned giving scheme (also called the stewardship scheme) if they are not members already, using a standing order or envelopes to make their gifts regularly.
  • give tax-efficiently through Gift Aid. By completing a very simple declaration (Gift Aid declaration), any donors who are taxpayers can enable the church to reclaim the tax they have paid on the donations they make - making every donation worth 28% more to the church at no additional cost to them!

Planned Giving

Anyone wishing to join the planned giving scheme or to review what he or she gives already is asked to complete a simple form. Copies are available in the church or can be obtained from the gift-aid secretary. Standing orders and the collections made at services are the way most people find it convenient to give the church, but we are, of course, very pleased to receive donations at any time. We can take either cash or cheque (made payable to SADAMC).


Gift Aid and Giving to the Church

The following "Frequently asked questions" (FAQ's) about giving to a church may be helpful.

  1. Why a planned giving scheme? If most members join the scheme it will help us to manage the church finances as we can be reasonably sure of a regular income. It may also help individual members with their giving to make a firm commitment and have a standing order or envelopes to pay it regularly.
  2. What about confidentiality? The responses on the forms are kept confidential - only the Gift Aid secretary sees the forms and know what is put on them. The Rector and other church leaders never see them.
  3. What happens if I can't keep up my payments? You make no legal commitment when you join the scheme. If your circumstances change you can reduce or stop your gifts, although it will help if you tell us - in confidence of course. If you have made a standing order you will need to contact your bank.
  4. What is meant by giving proportionately? This means that you decide to give a fixed proportion of your disposable income (ie income after tax and other amounts deducted at source). What that proportion is we leave up to you to decide.

    The Bible teaches about tithing, in other words giving 10% of your disposable income. So that if your income is £1,000 a month, then you would give £100 a month. But whatever proportion you decide on, the scriptures urge us to give joyfully and wholeheartedly, in gratitude for the many ways in which God has blessed us.

    The General Synod recommends a target of 5%, or 5p out of every £1, as many people give to other worthwhile causes. If you decide on, say, 5% (5p out of every £1) and your income is £100 per week, then you would give £5 a week. If your income went up to £105 per week, you would then put your gift up to £5.25 a week. If your income goes down - because you retire, say, or lose your job - then you can similarly reduce the amount with a clear conscience!
  5. What happens with standing orders and envelopes? With a standing order, you give your bank instructions to pay a regular amount, usually monthly, straight from your bank to ours. We will provide a form for you to complete, which we will send to your bank. Once the order is set up you can ignore the collection bag when it comes round in the service! With envelopes you will be given a set of numbered, dated envelopes and you use these to put your gift in the collection bag, usually weekly. If you miss church please remember to bring the envelope (full!) for the week you missed next time!

    From our point of view the standing order is best - it is more secure and involves a lot less work. But we know not everyone can give this way.
  6. What other methods are there? A few people find that neither envelopes nor standing orders are appropriate for them, but they still want to be part of the planned giving scheme. For example, some people find it more convenient to give a lump sum, say, once or twice a year. A lump sum can be gift aided too, so that we claim the tax you have paid making it worth 28% more to us (talk to our Gift Aid secretary). Others may want to use a special charity account rather than a bank account.

Charity Accounts

Charity accounts can be set up with various organisations, such as Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), Stewardship Services and Justgiving.

They make it possible to cover donations to any number of charities with a single Gift Aid declaration, simplifying record keeping for tax purposes. Gifts from such accounts can usually be made by standing orders, online, by phone, using vouchers (sometimes called "charity cheques") or using a card similar to a debit card such as "Charitycard". They can be regular gifts or "one-offs", and there are not usually any minimum or maximum limits. Why not get your charitable giving organised - and fully tax-efficient - and set up an account for yourself?

Note. The list of organisations above is not intended to be exhaustive and the JCC does not endorse or recommend any particular account or organisation. However, as an example, you can find out more about the CAF account by visiting the CAF charity account web pages.


Donations to the united Anglican Methodist Church in Sturry, Fordwich, Westbere and Hersden

The maintenance of the church buildings (St Nicholas church, Sturry, and All Saints church, Westbere) and the local work of the church depends upon individual donations.

If you would like to help, then please contact either the gift-aid secretary or the treasurer or send a cheque made payable to SADAMC to the treasurer, Roger Thompson, 35A Sleigh Road, Sturry, CT2 0HT.