“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” - 2 Corinthians 9:6-8
General introduction to giving
Jesus talked a lot about money. He said that our attitude to money, how we view it and how we use it, is an indicator of what is going on in our hearts. Being ready to give gladly and generously to God’s work is first and foremost a response to his generous work of grace in our lives. It is a key part of our commitment to be disciples of Jesus. So it’s good to take time to think about our giving.
We are truly grateful to God for the way in which he has provided for all that we do here at Christ Church. We are also thankful for the way in which members of the congregation commit themselves to regular giving, not just financial but also in time and talents. As we review our giving for this year, here are five principles that the Bible teaches for our giving.
Joyful. God loves a cheerful giver. When we think about all that God has given us, we realise that we don’t need to give reluctantly or just out of duty. We can give with a sense of joy and excitement knowing that God can use what we give for eternal purposes.
Proportional. We often think of giving in terms of a percentage. The Church of England encourages people to give 5% of their income. Other Christians follow the Old Testament pattern of tithing (giving 10%) of their income. But the Bible points us to proportional giving—those with more give more. 10% may be too difficult for some and not very significant for others. It may be helpful to start by giving a percentage and then looking to increase that regularly.
Sacrificial. If there is no element of sacrifice to our giving, then it is hard to see how this brings honour to God. The more we discover of what God has done for us the more we will be ready to make sacrifices to honour him.
Planned. The Bible teaches us to give in a planned and regular way, not just on impulse. This may mean setting aside time to think and pray through what we can give, and then planning carefully to make sure it happens.
Secret. This guards us against pride and is why we keep giving confidential at Christ Church.
Christ Church Finances 2018
There are two different funds that resource the ministry at Christ Church. The General Fund of the PCC and the Christ Church Trust. Taken together the following areas of ministry are supported:
- Staff: £142,000 Our staff take responsibility for developing key areas of church life. These include preaching, teaching, pastoral care, worship, our ministry to children and older people and our administration. This figure includes salaries and, where applicable, pensions and housing costs.
- Ministry: £15,000 Our wide range of events and activities help people to come to faith and grow as disciples. These include Children’s Groups, Alpha, training courses, catering and small groups.
- Facilities: £28,000 In order to run and host everything that happens at Christ Church we need a building that is safe, comfortable and welcoming for everyone. This figure includes running costs such as gas and electricity, water, insurance and maintenance of the building. It also includes office costs and publicity.
- Mission: £15,000 Our mission partners are the people and organisations outside of Christ Church that we support. They are serving God throughout the UK and around the world. As a church we both pray and provide financial support for them.
- Diocese: £30,000 Christ Church is part of the Church of England and our local area is the Diocese of Southwark. We make a contribution to the wider ministry of the Diocese and to the administration of key areas such as safeguarding and training.
Our need in 2018
To meet our total planned expenditure of £230,000 in 2018 and to avoid drawing on reserves we need to increase our giving to the PCC by £14,000 and our giving to the Christ Church Trust by £10,000.
(These figures are all separate from the costs of Christ Church Renewed.)
How to give
- Regular Giving. Regular giving, for example by a monthly standing order, can be a helpful way to honour God with our finances. It also makes budgeting and financial planning much easier for the church. If you are already giving in this way, it may be that you can increase your standing order over time or as your circumstances change.
- At Church. Some people find it easier to give at the collection plate at the Welcome Desk. This may be part of a regular commitment to give or simply a way to give a ‘thank offering’ when God prompts us.
- One-Off gifts. Some people are able to give occasional ‘one-off’ gifts. These donations often help us to close the gap between our regular income and our planned expenditure.
- Gift Aid. If you are a UK tax payer, please fill in and return the enclosed Gift Aid forms and return them to the Church Office. This means that we can reclaim an additional 25p of tax for every £1 that you give.
- Legacy Giving. Over the years the ministry at Christ Church has benefitted from members who have generously left a legacy in their will. The PCC has passed a resolution to make sure that any legacies are used for significant projects.
Pray. Take time to think and pray about how you can steward wisely all that God has given you and how you can support the ministry at Christ Church.
Ask. If you have any questions, do ask a member of staff or contact the treasurer via the Church Office.
Give. Cheques can be made payable to either Christ Church PCC or Christ Church Trust. For internet banking or setting up a standing order the details are:
Christ Church Surbiton PCC A/c no: 28010035 Sort Code: 60-21-05
Christ Church Trust A/c no: 00011497 Sort Code: 40-52-40