Planned Giving FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
How much should I give?
That is a matter for you. But here is some guidance.
1. The Church of England recommends that its members should give 5% of their net income – after tax and mortgage repayments, but before other costs – to their local church, and a similar amount to other charities. For someone earning £400 a week after tax and mortgage, that would mean £20 a week to the local church. For someone on £200 a week, it would mean £10 – and so on.
2. The average cost of our parish life, per worshipper, is currently around £12 per week. Some certainly cannot give that much. Some give a lot more – up to £60+ per week – and their contribution is vital. But most people give between £5 and £10, with an increasing number giving £15-20 or more.
How confidential is my giving?
Only the Stewardship Secretary has full information, which is held on computer (password-protected). The Treasurer is inevitably aware of standing orders, because he deals with the church’s bank statements, and also of Gift Aided donations because he submits the claims; but he does not have the full picture – and what he has is also kept securely. The clergy, and the other church officers and staff, have no knowledge at all.
Does a standing order have to be monthly?
No. Some people prefer quarterly or annual standing orders. Some give weekly!
If I give by envelope, what happens if I miss church frequently or for long periods?
Just put the missing envelopes in the collection plate when you next come to church – or give them to a church officer or a member of church or office staff. It is OK to put all your “debts” into one envelope rather than filling each one individually – in fact it makes less work for us, especially if you put in a cheque!
Can I change the amount I give?
Yes, you can do this at any time – you do not have to pledge a specific amount, still less for a specific time, as happened under the old Covenant system.
Can I give by CAF cheque?
Yes. But please note that this does not attract tax back for the church, because that tax has already been credited to your charitable giving account with CAF. So you might want to decide how much to give, and then increase it by 25% - you will be no worse off!
I want to support one particular aspect of the church’s life (eg music, or outreach services) – is this possible?
Yes, it is, and a few people do so. But you will need to inform the Stewardship Secretary in writing that you want your gift to be “restricted” in this way, and it will then be shown in the church accounts on that basis. In addition, separate opportunities exist to support the Friends of the Music, or the Friends of Shakespeare’s Church (for restoration of the building). However, the PCC continues to need support across the whole of its work, and straightforward “unrestricted” donations are preferable. They mean that the PCC, representing the church as a whole, can decide on priorities, rather than leaving this to individuals.
Will I be “followed up” if I reduce my giving or drop out of the scheme?
The Stewardship Secretary may contact you, but will not “pursue” you for the money! If after doing so he suspects that there may be a pastoral problem, for example redundancy, or dissatisfaction with the church, he may inform the clergy but will never give details of the amounts involved or any other confidential matter.