Finance, PSF & Giving
We know that, during this time, there is understandable concern and anxiety for many in our parishes about the wellbeing of their family, friends and other parishioners and that you will be concerned about your parish’s finances.
We have put together a group of resources on parish finances, the Parish Support Fund and encouraging generous giving to support you. These are firstly, Six Top Tips for Encouraging Generous Giving! and secondly a list of Frequently Asked Questions on all finance-related topics. These were sent out to treasurers on 6.4.20, can be downloaded as printable Pdf factsheets and we will add to them over the next few weeks as questions and advice evolve.
We recognise that with the suspension of public worship some parishes might soon start to face short-term impacts on their cash flow, or income, either because of the reduction in cash and envelope collections, or a fall in income from hall bookings or from other tenants. In response, we would encourage parishes and worshipping communities initially to:
- explore ways to encourage generosity via our current worship and communications (please see Six Top Tips for Encouraging Generous Giving!)
- consider whether there are regular financial givers who could accelerate their giving, or provide other financial support, and approach them
- consider using the Government schemes to help support you, such as the Coronavirus Employee Retention Scheme/furlough and small business loans
- make sure your tenants or those hiring your halls know about the government support schemes such as the Coronavirus Employee Retention Scheme and support for the self-employed
- please consider the using some of your reserves at his time. We build up reserves in the good times in order to provide a financial fall-back in such circumstances as we face now.
Thank you to all the parishes continuing to pay their parish pledges. We are grateful, too, for the many messages of support and to those who have let us know that they intend to continue to honour their pledge. We are here to support you through this challenging time. However, as you will know, the Diocese has limited room for manoeuvre because most Diocesan expenditure is fixed costs, particularly clergy stipends, pensions and costs associated with our ordinands. Each parish’s circumstances will be different depending on the profile of their givers, the nature of their trading income (including rentals and other sources of income) and financial reserves.
However, if you are concerned about your ability to pay your parish pledge please contact your Archdeacon in the first instance (copying your Area Dean); or for advice about encouraging giving contact Gabby Parikh; or for questions about general finances contact Anthony Demby, our Director of Finance.
If you have cash flow difficulties please do not cancel your direct debit because reinstating it with the correct details is almost impossible owing to restrictions imposed by banking regulations. We can either suspend or vary the amount of your pledge and, on the rare occasion we have made an error, we have refunded the amount. We have had a number of enquiries about how to address hall rental situations and ask that you consider the advice in FAQ 6 regarding hirers of church halls.
We recommend that you ensure that you have contingency plans in place so that in the event of key personnel, such as your Treasurer, becoming unwell there are other people such as Churchwardens with access to the passwords for bank accounts, other internet finances such as HMRC Gift Aid reclaims, and other financial information. Please also make sure that you have properly documented procedures, offering adequate cover with people who can authorise transactions, so that you are able to run the church finances smoothly and effectively.
Frequently Asked Questions on Finance, Parish Support Fund (PSF) and Giving
Below are some frequently asked questions – please click on the links to be find answers and further information