Stewardship at Christ Church Gipsy Hill
Stewardship is a key part of how we live our lives when we become disciples of Jesus Christ. It is an active response to God’s grace and a faithful response to God’s call in scripture to generosity of heart. So we are stewards of all that God has given us; and that includes our time, our talents, our possessions and our money.
The four key principles of Christian Stewardship are:
- Discipleship: How we handle money, wealth and possessions is a central part of our discipleship.
- Mission: Our giving of time, money and talents resources God's mission in the world.
- Generosity: Our generosity is one of the values that should mark us out as Christians.
- Lifestyle: Giving is from our whole income, not from what's left over.
As a result, we are able to:
- advance the mission of the church to proclaim God’s love in Christ.
- release resources to serve those in need, in our local community and around the world.
- become more aware of our responsibility to be good stewards of God’s creation.
Finance at Christ Church
We are a parish within the Church of England’s Diocese of Southwark, but do not receive any direct financial support from the central church. Clergy salaries and housing for our Vicar are paid for by the Diocese, and along with every other parish in the diocese, we are invited to give back through our Parish Support Fund payments at least enough to cover those costs. Christ Church has chosen to contribute more than our own basic costs as part of our support of mission across the diocese in parishes which are not able to cover all their own costs.
Parish Support Fund payments and all our other running and ministry costs are funded through direct giving by congregation members, alongside income generated through the good stewardship of our buildings.
- We received approximately £160,000 in donations, including reclaimed gift aid
- We received £56,000 of income from letting our buildings and £16,000 from other sources and activities, including £5k from an endowment fund for our youth work.
- We paid the diocese £93,000 through the Parish Support Fund, and made donations to our Mission Partners of £14,000.
- We spent approximately £60,000 on operating and maintaining our buildings, and £20,000 was spent on providing the house for our curate.
- The balance of our income (approximately £50,000) is spent on staff and the costs of our different ministries. The generous giving of members of our congregation has enabled us to employ a ministry assistant, church administrator and youth intern, and to fund a wide range of our ministries that are staffed by wonderful teams of volunteers. These include our weekly drop in, Open Door, our dementia hub café, the ‘Magnolia Club’, our Stay and Play Toddler Group, Playpen, and the many ministries that serve our congregation, including our children and youth.
How you can be part of this
Our congregation draws together a diverse set of people, in very diverse circumstances, not least in terms of material wealth. We don’t tell anyone what they should give, or how to give it. We would like you to join in prayerfully considering how we can each generously support God’s mission in and through the life of this church - and where possible give financially, as well as in other practical ways.
Talk to someone
If giving is an area you struggle with, do feel free to talk to Jonathan our Vicar, or Emma our curate. They are happy to discuss and pray confidentially about this area of our lives.
Sometimes talking about giving can highlight other financial problems. Debt and money management issues affect many people, including some in our church. If you have challenges in this area, we can provide support and advice through our Open Door advisor, or can put you in touch with another local specialist advice centre.
Commit to Regular Organised Giving
If you are ready and able, the most effective way to give is to commit to giving regularly on a monthly or weekly basis.
Giving by standing order is now very easy: you can set one up using online banking, or by completing the paper form that you can download here. The church bank account details appear on that form. Your giving details remain confidential to those handling our bank accounts and gift aid claims and you are able to change your giving at any time.
Some people prefer to give weekly in the collection, by cash or cheque. The ‘blue envelope’ system enables you to organise this form of giving week by week. Please speak to Francis Howcutt, our Giving Secretary, if you think this might suit you.
The collections on Sunday morning are opportunities to give as and when you are able. One off online payments can also be made direct to the church bank account - using the reference ‘Gift’ so the payment can be processed easily.
Gift Aid Forms
If you are a taxpayer, the church is likely to be able to reclaim tax on your donation through the gift aid scheme. This can increase the value of your donation by 25p for every £1 donated. To enable us to reclaim the tax, you need to complete the gift aid declaration here. If you are making occasional donations in the collection, then you will need to put your gift in a white envelope and complete the gift aid donation form on the envelope each time you give.
In order to recover tax, gifts have to be from an individual rather than a couple. For couples where only one is a taxpayer or only one pays tax at the higher rate it can help the church and/or the couple for that individual to be the “giver”. Francis Howcutt can answer any questions you may have on that subject.
Other Means of Payment
The ways people pay for things are changing. Christ Church can accept card payments for giving (please speak to Helen in the office or to a member of the clergy), and will shortly be introducing a means of mobile payment through a QR code.
Watch this space…