Our Giving Campaign

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Giving Campaign

 

 

Opening a present can be very exciting! We may have no idea what’s inside. But some presents give us responsibilities. Image you’ve received a pet for Christmas - there are a whole load of obligations – bringing it up, insurance, feeding, cleaning, looking after when it’s sick …

 

In Jesus Christ the world was given the gift of all gifts - the life of the Son of God.  At St Peter’s, as we try to live out the life of Christ in the world, we are aware of our responsibilities, one of which is to keep the ministry of the Church going.

 

You will notice the appeal thermometer outside St Peter’s Church, which will show how well we are doing! Our estimated shortfall for 2019 is around £12,000. Will you help us reach our target and fully support the ministry of our part of the Church?

Here are some of the Frequently Asked Questions about how the Church of England is funded – if you can think of some more please do let us know!

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1.   Surely the Church of England is wealthy? – what’s the problem?

a.     It’s true that the Church of England is the second largest land-owner in the country; but it is also a very large organisation. It has 16,000 parish churches (eight times as many branches as Lloyds Bank for example); supports 7,400 full time clergy; provides Church of England schooling to around 1 million children, has chaplains in schools, universities, hospitals, prisons and in the armed forces. In addition most of its Churches and 42 Cathedrals are grade 1 listed buildings.

b.    Its income from its assets only cover a part of all this. Most of the cost of employing the clergy and half their pension costs have to come from parish giving. And nearly all the Churches maintenance costs are provided from the collection plate too. 

  • 2.   How much does St Peter’s cost to run?

a.    St Peter’s will cost about £51,000 in 2019 (excluding maintenance costs which will be covered  by the Viney bequest). This includes our Diocesan Share of £32,000 for the Joint Benefice. At the moment our income is about £12,000 short of this.

  • 3.   Why do we need a Church?

a.    English parish churches have been the spiritual focus of our communities for centuries, often dating back to medieval or even Saxon times. They give communities a sense of identity and security. And their ministries (the activities of the clergy and lay people) help those in distress at key points like funerals, but also in disasters and emergencies. Their worshipping communities act as a core of caring for others and also enable people to celebrate key positive moments in life - for example marriage, baptism, marriage vow renewal.

b.     Whenever it is suggested that a parish church should be closed, local residents rise up in protest, which reveals just how much our parish churches are valued by the whole community.

  • 4.   Why do we need a vicar?

a.     As well as performing the regular functions of service-taking (Sunday services, marriages, funerals, baptisms) the vicar stands as a representative of the Church in the Community, and of God.

b.     He or she is also the prime leader in the Church community, formulating and carrying out the strategy of the Church.

c.      At times they are also expected to comment on events and trends in the community and wider society, presenting its ‘conscience’.

d.     In parishes that have been amalgamated with others (some seeing as many as 9 churches served by one priest) congregations have been seen to diminish and confidence amongst the people wane significantly.

  • 5.   What will happen if we can’t pay our way?

a.     In the medium term it is likely that our Church would be amalgamated with a neighbouring parish and we would lose our vicar.

b.     In the long term it’s quite likely that the Church will close.

  • 6.   Why can’t you use the Viney Trust money?

a.     The very generous bequest of the Viney sisters is constrained by their will so that its income can only be applied to the repairs and maintenance of St Peter’s church building. This therefore excludes churchyard costs, the Diocesan Share and any other costs not directly associated with the building itself.

  • 7.   Where does the Church’s money come from?

a.     Briefly the cost of our Bishops, clergy training and part of their pensions are provided by historic church assets (from the Church Commissioners) whereas everything else has to be paid for by current church members – through their weekly/monthly offerings

b.     The government does not provide any money for day to day running of the Church.

  • 8.   Do I have to give money to come to Church?

a.     Absolutely not. The Good News of the Gospel is God’s free gift and we would always want anyone coming to Church to feel free of any burden of payment.

b.     However, when we receive something, or take part in an organisation, we naturally want to be thankful or be part of keeping that structure going.

  • 9.   Is ‘giving’ part of being a Christian?

a.     Being a Christian involves acknowledging God’s generosity in giving his Son, Jesus Christ, for us. Our thankfulness for this and our life in creation naturally makes us want to express our gratitude in some way. Our giving – whether of money, time or talents – is an expression of thankfulness.

  • 10I don’t go to Church, so what’s it got to do with me?

a.     For many non-churchgoers, the church building is an important part of their community. As well as being the oldest historical building in the village, it will have been the focus of so much community life over the centuries that anyone with an interest in history would want to see it preserved.

b.     The responsibility for keeping the building in good repair lies with the church congregation and the vicar, so helping us to ensure that we can meet that responsibility helps to keep this valued historic building from either being developed as housing or falling into ruin!

  • 11 Surely the government pays for our churches?

a.     No. There is no government money available for running our churches or the Church of England as a whole.

b.     Sometimes the government makes small grants available for specific needs, normally to do with ancient buildings, but unlike some European countries (like France) that fund their churches out of taxation, the Church of England is entirely self-funded.

  • 12 Why isn’t the Church like any other club? – its members should pay for it!

a.     The great thing about the Church is that it tries to give us an image of the Kingdom of God – entry to that is free to all, without distinction of any kind. If we charged a membership fee that would almost certainly be unfair - too much for some, not enough for others.

b.     And there are often times in people’s lives when there just is no money available to pay for ‘membership’. At those critical points in people’s lives it is all the more important that membership of the Church should be free of charge.

c.      Equally when we are in better circumstances, it is good to be able to give a little more in order to support those without.

  • 13 Why doesn’t the Church of England pay for our local churches?

a.     See the answer to question 1.

b.     Briefly, the Church Commissioners administer a large fund that helps us save having to find the full cost of our Churches (unlike many other Churches, in which the whole cost falls upon their members.) But it can’t cover all our costs.

  • 14 How much should I give?

a.    There is no single answer to this question. On average we need people to be giving about £15 per week. But for some people this would be quite impossible. For others it might seem a rather small amount.

b.     We believe that if everyone gives what they feel moved out of gratitude to give, then we will have enough. That decision is up to each person and between them and God.

  • 15 What good is the Church anyway?

a.     See answer to question 1.

  • 16 No-one believes in God now anyway, so what’s the point?

a.     Actually quite a lot of people believe in God, maybe not all the time, and maybe not as fully as once people did. But when times are hard, or serious illness or tragedy hits, we often find that we need to depend on God a lot more than we thought. Army chaplains often say “there are very few atheists at the battle front.”

b.     The Christian Faith can give a sense of meaning to one’s live; it can create community; it inspires self-less and generous actions; our Church of England schools espouse Christian values that countless parents consider so important that our church schools typically are very over-subscribed.

c.     Our institutions – including universities, schools, colleges, prisons, the police, hospitals, armed forces – take a great deal of trouble to appoint chaplains (usually clergy) to help tend to the pastoral needs of their communities because they know from past experience exactly what the point is!

 

If you have a question that is not covered by the above please let us know at;

 

giving@arlesey.org.uk