Christian Stewardship, which is fundamental to Christian discipleship, is about using and managing our God-given resources appropriately and responsibly. It’s about using our Time, our Talents and our Money in God’s service.
Time and Talents
Our congregation has a wide range of gifts, experiences and skills. Well over 100 people help in many ways to ensure the smooth running of our church and in furtherance of our mission both locally and in the wider world. These include singing in one of our choirs, helping with young people, cleaning the brass, arranging flowers, taking the collection at services or serving on one of the committees responsible for such things as finance or building maintenance. There are many other activities.
We always welcome offers of help in one or more of these important areas. Just have a word with our vicar, Fr Philip, or one of the churchwardens. They will happily introduce you to whoever can give you more information.
As Christians, we are asked to give money to the church for both spiritual and practical reasons. Spiritually we believe that we are responding to the boundless love of God and in response to his greatest gift – Jesus who died for us that we may have eternal life.
Practically, the church has to balance its books. It costs a good deal to run and maintain St Margaret’s. The cost of insurance, heating and lighting is significant; we employ several part-time staff and need to cover the cost of our priest. In addition we have decided to cover the cost of another priest in a materially poorer part of West Yorkshire and also allocate some of our income to mission and the relief of poverty, both at home and overseas.
We very much encourage ‘Planned Giving’ which means promising to give a certain amount each week or month. This way, the giver has thought prayerfully and carefully what commitment to make and the church can budget effectively. Knowing how much to give is an individual decision. We all have different levels of income so we hope people will give proportionately to reflect God’s generosity to them.
There are two types of Planned Giving. Firstly by numbered Weekly Envelope. The promised amount is placed in a special envelope each week and put on the collection plate; if unable to attend church any week the envelope(s) are brought next time. Secondly by Banker’s Standing Order, usually once a month. This is the preferred way as it eliminates cash handling/counting by volunteers. Where possible, we ask donors to Gift Aid their payments so we can claim an additional 25% tax-back from the government.
All Planned Giving is handled in confidence by our Stewardship Secretary Alison Stretton (Tel 01943 430024 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org) who would be pleased to discuss any aspects of giving to St Margaret’s.
Until recently, our bank provided their services free of charge. That has changed and despite negotiations between the Treasurer and the Bank, we are now paying significant charges for cash and cheques that we pay into and pay out of our bank account. Cheques are charged at £1.50 each and cash £1.50 for every £100. So, for example someone giving us a cheque for say £10 actually only £8.50 comes to the Church.
This brings into sharp focus the need wherever possible to have payments automated ,which are free. So, if you currently pay your stewardship through the envelope system, or if you subscribe to the Parish magazine for example we ask that you consider changing to a standing order and anything you can pay by BACs or faster payments rather than cash or cheque would be very much appreciated. Please always put in the reference section what the money relates to as this assists with book-keeping.
Our bank details are: Sort Code 20-11-81 Account number 40101516