The Parish Share explained
The Parish Share is the way that dioceses collect money from parishes.
Each of the 43 dioceses in England has a Board of Finance that, as the financial executive, works out an annual budget.
It receives money from three main sources:
Its own investments;
A contribution from the income of the Church Commissioners shared out so that the poorer ones benefit most, and
A contribution from the parishes known as the parish share. This is worked out by dioceses in different ways that all aim to be fair in sharing the burden between richer and poorer parishes.
The dioceses make a much smaller, but still important, contribution to the national running costs.This apportionment is used for training new clergy and funding the Church's national response to matters such as education, social responsibility, communications, mission, ministry, ecumenical relations and so on.
So the parish share that each parish contributes to the diocese is used to pay for:
The Church organisation and ministry available to parishes, which are administered by the diocese,
Clergy stipends, administered by the Church Commissioners,
Future pensions for the clergy, administered by the Pensions Board,
National church responsibilities and training new clergy, administered by the Archbishops' Council.
It takes just over £1000 million a year to run the Church of England, financing its 13,000 parishes and 43 cathedrals.
Around three-quarters (£750 million) comes from worshippers in the parishes. Over the past five years, parishes have increased their giving by around £100 million to meet increased ministry and pension costs.
Over £200 million is given tax-efficiently each year through Gift Aid and a further £60 million is recovered from the Inland Revenue in tax;
£200 million is given in cash and donations by congregations and visitors.
£250 million is raised through legacies, special events, the letting of church halls, bookstalls, fundraising and parish magazines etc.
Around 16 per cent (over £215 million) comes from the Church Commissioners who manage assets of £6.7 billion (at the end of 2014) on behalf of the Church.
How the money is spent:
The 'Parish Share' paid by parishes to dioceses contributes to the costs of clergy stipends across the diocese and pension contributions,
The working expenses of their own parish clergy - phone bills, stationery, car mileage etc.,
In addition, some parishes employ local staff, such as administrators, youth, children's or community workers,
Running costs of the church, and church buildings. e.g. insurance, heating, and lighting etc.,
Maintenance of church buildings and new building work costing in the region of £160 million per year.,
Many parishes give financial support to UK and overseas mission agencies, and to local and international charities. In 2004, parishes gave away over £40 million to such causes.
The majority - around 90 per cent - of the 'Parish Share' and other income (for example, from diocesan property or land) is used by the dioceses to pay for the clergy and other diocesan ministries. That is the costs of stipends, pensions and National Insurance, parsonage housing, Council Tax and training expenditure both for ordinands and in-service development. This also includes money spent on ministries that support the parishes, such as youth work, children's work, stewardship and communications.
The worship of the church has to be paid for:
Depending on the size of the parish and the style of worship, expenses might include the organ, organist, choir. music. books. robes. candles and Communion elements.
Like a house, the church building incurs costs for heating. lighting and insurance. Some have to pay water rates.
Larger parishes may employ someone to look after parish administration. Printing, stationery and postage have to be paid for.
It is right that parishes should pay the expenses incurred as part of their priest's ministry in the parish. In most cases this includes the cost of running a car.
Most Church Councils are responsible for the upkeep of the vicarage or rectory.
Church buildings must be kept in good repair, too, and regular inspections arranged. Sometimes, this becomes a large expense for a small parish.
Finally. though perhaps most importantly, comes outward giving. the charitable contributions the church makes. Many churches try to give away at least a tenth of their income.
Some people may feel that local costs are all the local church should be responsible for, but the whole Church also has to pay for:
the stipends or salaries of clergy serving the parishes and the pensions of retired clergy and their dependants,
training new clergy for future service,
the work of the central church organisation on behalf of all the parishes,
negotiating with government departments, working with other Churches and running the General Synod (the Church's parliament)
and all the help given by diocesan officers to parishes.
2015 Again we are delighted to report that we met our Parish Share and express our grateful thanks to everyone for their generosity.