Different kinds of giving...
There are obviously many different ways of giving. Some people give generously of their time and their talents to the church and these aspects are incredibly important. However, in order to continue its ministry and mission, the church needs money and this short leaflet is designed to inform you of some of our costs and encourage you to look prayerfully at your own giving.
Giving to God ...
It is good to think regularly about this aspect of our discipleship. There is lots about it in the Bible, and it has always been an important subject in the history of the Church.
Talking about giving to God is not the same as making an appeal for money - it is about prayerfully considering giving in a way that is regular, as a proportion of income and as a sign of our discipleship.
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income. (1 Corinthians 16.2)
The costs faced by the church are regular and constant. We seek to work effectively and wisely in the way we use our money and the best way to do this is through a budget. However, without regular giving, it is very difficult to know what our income is going to be.
So, it is incredibly helpful to us if people give on a regular basis as this ensures a regular flow of income to meet the regular outgoings.
There are different ways of giving regularly. Some people choose to give by setting up a monthly standing order at their bank. Others prefer to put money in envelopes each week and these are available to those who wish to use them.
Planning to give a definite proportion of income honours God. Giving haphazardly often means God gets what is left over.
Sometimes it seems hard to decide how much to give to God. Many Christians have followed the Biblical tithe - one tenth of income. This is not a rule, but it can be a helpful guideline in responding to God's self-giving love for us.
There are different approaches to tithing. Some Christians give 5% of after-tax income to the church and 5% to charities that help build God's kingdom. Others give a tenth to the church and 'offerings' to other charities.
For some people, for a whole range of reasons, tithing may not be possible. We would encourage you though to spend some time thinking about what you could afford to give.
Some examples of what percentage giving might look like:
- Someone who earns £300 a week and gives £5 a week is giving 1.7%.
- Someone who earns £300 a week and gives £30 a week is giving 10%.
- Someone who earns £40,000 a year and gives £38 a week is giving f5%.
Giving and discipleship...
As with every aspect of following Christ, the Bible is our guide.
...they [the churches of Macedonia] gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability... having given themselves first of all to the Lord. (2 Corinthians 8.3-5)
Giving to God is for all who have responded to God's love in Christ. Christians seek to honour God in their lifestyle. Giving our money is a part of that total discipleship.
We should never give unwillingly, begrudgingly or out of guilt.
Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves o cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9.7)
How is your money used?
Our outgoings in 2014 were £112,980. This is made up of various sums including £44,719 which went to Derby Diocese, whose biggest expenditure is paying the clergy. We pay more than most parishes because we are regarded as a wealthy area in terms of people's average income on the formula used to calculate the Parish share.
Within the life of St Michael's there are many expenses to meet: insurance, maintenance and repairs, work with children and young people, teaching materials, heating, cleaning, photocopying and administration.Our Youth, Children's and Community Worker cost £19,706 (the Diocese have given us a grant of £12,000 per annum for this; 2017 will be the last year this is available. Thereafter, we must fund our youth, children's and community work entirely ourselves).
We receive no specific financial support from the Church of England nationally and are dependent on giving from the congregation to support our work.
How can I help?
Do prayerfully think about how and what you give. It is all in response to God who in Christ gave all for us.
Father, thank you that everything I have is a gift from you.
Show me how I can use the things I have - my time, my talents and my money for your kingdom.
By your Holy Spirit, please show me how and what you want me to give.
Change any greed or selfishness in my heart and help me be thankful and generous.
Give me joy in giving and in receiving from you.
In Jesus' name.
Taking it further
There are various ways to give to St. Michaels:
- The best way is by a standing order from your bank. Contact the Treasurer Paul Stuttle for further details, or download the form and send it to Paul. If you pay tax, please use Gift Aid - the government add 25% to your gift at no extra cost to you.
- Alternatively, ask Paul about the envelope scheme (you get 52 envelopes each year in which you put your cash gift to put into the collection)
- It is worth considering remembering St. Michael's in your will. Paul can give you further details on how best to do this.
If you want to talk to someone about your giving, please contact Chris or Maria.
For more information about standing orders or Gift Aid, please contact the Church Treasurer, Paul Stuttle.