Giving in Grace
A call to participate in God’s love and provision
Stewardship is a term frequently used to describe regular, planned giving within your local Parish - the act of contributing to the care of God's gifts and community.
Many people are surprised to learn that parishes like ours do not receive direct funding from the wider Church of England. Instead, we rely on the generosity of visitors to our church and regular giving by parishioners. Our parish in Ribchester needs to raise £1,596 per week in 2019, to sustain our buildings and clergy, our ministry and mission.
Over the past few years, however, income has fallen considerably short of expenditure, this has forced us to rely on the generosity of past benefactors by using reserves. However, reserves do not last forever! There is now very little of the reserves fund remaining.
To bridge our income gap, and enable our ministry to flourish, we are asking all of our congregation and supporters to think carefully about all we receive from God and prayerfully review their giving.
It goes without saying that, at the same time, our Parochial Church Council is also working with our clergy to identify and act on opportunities to reduce our expenditure and make savings, where it will not cause detriment to those who need our support the most. However, with 2 mediaeval churches to maintain, the challenge is considerable.
Our giving sustains our church buildings, sacred places dedicated to worship, prayer, witness and community. It sustains our clergy, here and across our diocese. It also helps our diocese prepare for a sustainable future by training new clergy.
Our giving sustains our ministry, measured in every single:
- Sick person visited;
- admission or confirmation course run;
- school assembly taken;
- bereaved family comforted;
- baptism celebrated;
- sermon preached;
- Eucharist celebrated; and
- person shown the love of Christ through our care and compassion.
Our giving sustains mission both here in our local community, as well as across the UK and overseas, for people we may never meet but to whom we are able to give comfort and practical support through our ministry.
In the coming year we hope to:
- Bridge our income gap challenge; and
- continue our work as an established rural ministry, providing a welcoming and vibrant focal point for the whole community.
To do this work, each week we will spend:
£958 on our share of clergy costs: stipend, housing, training, etc.
£380 on our buildings: insurance, heat, light, etc.
£258 on worship and ministry: for our congregation and the wider community, including the Village Hall.
How do we decide how much we should be contributing? Circumstances are individual and there is no one, easy answer for everyone. There are some very practical things you can do:
- Increase existing regular giving to help meet our Church’s needs.
- Join the planned giving scheme, using weekly envelopes or by setting up a standing order.
- Optimise your giving through Gift Aid, if you pay tax.
- Make a legacy gift.
But, at the end of the day, how much to give is a thoughtful, prayerful decision only you can make. Love is generous, love is kind and love is selfless - we see that in all God gives to us; how will we respond?
How to give
If you would like begin making regular donations, or to increase the donations you already make, you can do so either by completing this response form (and returning it to the Rectory) or by setting up a direct payment through your bank for 'The Parochial Church Council of Ribchester', Sort Code: 30 96 85, Account: 02925640.
Alternatively, one-off or regular donations can be made through our online fundraising partner, Give as you Live.
If you have any questions about donations, Gift Aid or our envelope scheme, please contact our Treasurer, Tim, on 01254 878957 or our Gift Aid Secretary, Clare, on 01254 878682.