After the 2016 strategy roadshows we agreed that we needed to have a determined focus on how we fund mission and ministry in the diocese.
We agreed to a goal of ‘achieving sustainable finance’ but, when we take into account the exciting missional plans we have for ‘Reaching those we currently don’t’, we now know that we need to look beyond ‘sustainable’! God is calling us to great things for Him across the diocese – the fields are ripe for harvest – and we are confident that He is waiting to bless the work of our hands. All through the Bible we hear the stories of God equipping and enabling His people to transform the world around them. If we are faithful, He will be with us in all we do.
The Finance workshops I am leading over the next few months are asking the important questions ‘what more could you do in your parish if you weren’t constantly worrying about money?’ and ‘how can we help you get there?’ Funded by money from the Church Commissioners, our plans already include the appointment of new ‘Generous Giving Advisers’ to help parishes to grow regular giving and to encourage legacy giving to support God’s mission. In addition to a focus on increasing giving, we will be providing additional expertise to parishes on grant-finding and on developing more cost effective buildings. We are also investigating the opportunity to engage in the ‘Parish Giving Scheme’, a way of making regular giving in a tax-efficient way easier for givers and parish treasurers.
The evidence we have is that the key to increasing regular giving is to ‘make and nurture disciples’. Generosity, in the giving of time and money, is a natural response to God’s great love for us. As we grow in Christ-likeness as a diocese, we are confident that we will find we have more than enough resources to support His mission in this place. Our goals for increasing regular giving are stretching but well within our grasp if we have faith in God’s power and love.