What is financial giving?
Giving money to the church through collections and regular giving allows us to provide ministry in not only our own community but across the whole of the Diocese of London. This collective sum is called the Common Fund.The contribution that Hornsey Parish Church makes to the Common Fund will in this current year be approximately £40,000.
The Common Fund – how is our contribution of £40,000 spent?
A large proportion of that sum pays for Hornsey Parish Church to have a full time priest dedicated to serving our community. It pays his stipend, national insurance, pension and housing costs. A significant proportion also goes toward helping churches less fortunate than ourselves to work in the more financially deprived areas of London, vital work that needs to be supported, encouraged and expanded upon if possible. There are also central church costs such as the training of new priests – our offering contributes towards that too.
Our church budget today
Hornsey Parish Church currently needs income in excess of £120,000 per year to open our doors, not only on Sundays but every day of the week, and continue our work within the parish of Hornsey. That includes the contribution to the Common Fund of approximately £40,000 per annum.
A further £30,000 per annum is needed to help fund the work our youth team including Naomi, our Lay Schools Worker, who has an immensely appreciated ministry in our church, school and community. It also helps cover the expenses of our Ministry Team including Nick our Pastoral Assistant, Lotte our Youth Worker and the many others whose collective contribution means our work with children and youth is so highly respected within the community.
With this strength of ministry we are also able to reach out and minister to the Homeless, the Territorial Army and Air Corps, the local YMCA and much more besides.
Part of the £30,000 also supports Nadia who is responsible for managing the hire of our halls and rooms which generate a highly significant vital part of our funding. Indeed we are immensely fortunate to have these spaces, because without the income from hiring these spaces our financial survival would be seriously challenged, not to say untenable.
These buildings, along with the church itself, have significant potential as places of witness and enable us to offer our community spaces to gather and meet. But they are in constant need of care and maintenance which swallows up in excess of £20,000 per annum (rubbish collection alone costs over £1,000 a year!).
We should point out that we are also looking to manage our funds as effectively as possible. Membership of the Parish Buying scheme has already enabled us to make substantial savings on our utility bills and we are continually assessing where further economies/efficiencies might be made.
Is financial giving just about meeting costs?
No! Giving is at the centre of the Christian vocation: love is all about giving to others, and we are asked to be generous in our giving. The well known gospel story of the widow in the temple shows us what Jesus’s view was. He noticed that although she gave a small amount, it was a high proportion of her total resources. Jesus pointed to her because her attitude towards money was the right one: what matters is not the amount being given relative to that of others, but how the widow’s giving manifests and effects a deeper belonging to God and dependence on God for her deepest fulfillment. The widow trusted God and, if we’re honest, we want to trust God too.
How much should I give?
If we look to the Bible, the norm was the tithe, 10% of personal income to be given away to charitable needs, and the Church of England still encourages us to consider giving at least 5% of our net income this way. For some, personal circumstances might make this level of giving impossible. Nevertheless we would ask every member of our congregation to re-assess their opportunity and to formalise wherever possible their method of giving.