Stewardship Support for Parishes

Hands in a circleOur Stewardship and Funding Adviser Liz Mullins can offer you support and advice in increasing regular giving to your parish as well as particular fundraising projects. 

Stewardship Campaigns

The usual focus of our Stewardship programme is a presentation during a church's main Sunday service, which encourages members of the church family to consider God’s generosity to and to review their personal giving.

In a clear and concise way, the presentation covers: 

  • Theological principles underlying stewardship
  • Current income and expenditure for the parish
  • What is needed to  help get the parish on a firm financial footing
  • Principles of proportionate giving
  • An invitation to reflect on current giving patterns, and review existing commitments

To prepare for a campaign a small planning group will meet two or three times in advance, with the support of the Stewardship and Funding Adviser. 

Renewing Stewardship

Parishes often say to us that they had a Stewardship campaign some years ago and it was enormously successful, with significant increases in giving, but that since then the levels of giving have gradually fallen and there are now financial difficulties again. There are a number of reasons for falling income in a parish:

  • People move away, leave the church or pass away
  • New members of the church family don’t understand how the finances work, and how much is needed to maintain the building and its ministry
  • Having set up a standing order, many people don’t think about it again, and don’t amend their gift in line with inflation or changes in their own income

To maintain giving levels it is important that stewardship is an ongoing part of parish life, not just a big effort every few years in response to a dire financial forecast. Ideally every parish will have a Stewardship or Giving Officer, responsible for encouraging stewardship within the parish, but every parish should have an annual stewardship renewal with a designated Stewardship Sunday – most years this can be quite low key, with a bigger push every so often. A good way forward can be to work on a three year “cycle”: the first year to concentrate on finance alone, the second year to focus on Time and Talents and the third year to think about buildings. In each of second and third years this would include a gentle reminder/request for individuals to review their giving.

A virtual stewardship review

If you are running online Services and thinking about a giving review, you can do it virtually.  Click here for guidance.  You should be able to co-ordinate this with a stewardship review in church as well, if you are doing one.  All of these materials are guides – you know your people and what they care about, and you should be able to tweak and adapt to suit your own circumstances.

We are always very pleased to work with parishes on Stewardship Renewal initiatives, but it is quite possible for parishes to run their own Renewal programmes.

Stewardship Sunday

Many churches find that it helps to focus one or more of their services every year on stewardship. You could do some teaching or preaching on themes of stewardship and giving - either a series or simply a one-off sermon. Usually we advise that you shouldn't get too specific when preaching on stewardship - remember that it should be much more about theology than about money. 

In advance you may wish to send out a letter or even a brochure setting out the parish’s financial needs, clearly and simply. In it, you might like to include: 

  • A big ‘thank you’ to people for all that they give to support parish life - both financially and otherwise. It's really crucial to recognise and appreciate what people are doing already
  • A clear budget outline, showing how much your budget/ spent needs to increase by and how much that might mean for each memebr of the church, per family, per week
  • Share your plans - what do you hope to do or achieve in your parish over the next year? Help people to get excited by your vision
  • Encourage people to pray about their giving, consider what they can afford, talk about it with family and review their gift
  • Ask people to fill in and return a response form, even if they're not able to increase their giving

It is important to be enthusiastic and positive about your church and about the possibilities for you as a community - people are more likely to increase their giving if they feel that they are part of something good. You may wish to listing the activities that your church is engaged in – people may be surprised to see just how much is going on, from worship to weddings, baptisms and funerals, through to community outreach and pastoral visiting. When preparing these materials, think about your parish mission plan, and relate everything to that plan - be as clear as you can about people''s generosity can help achieve the church's goals.

We can offer as much or as little help as you wish in running these campaigns, from printing your literature to coming and making a stewardship presentation in your church. Contact Liz Mullins (01227 459401). 

Time & Talents

Parishes often run successful, finance-based, stewardship campaigns - and then begin to consider how they can encourage their congregations to give of their time and their skills. We can help in suggesting ways of going about this – through preaching, presentations, displays and more. 

Stewardship Resources