"For four months in 2 Chronicles Chapter 31, the people of Israel... brought in abundantly the tithe of everything, so that the leftovers had to be piled up in heaps!

"I wonder what sort of wisdom inspired the people to give in such abundance? Was there teaching and preaching about generosity that yielded such abundant giving?

"This outbreak of generosity simply happened because Hezekiah announced a great Passover feast so that his people could turn back to the Lord... And the result? 'There was great joy in Jerusalem'.

"Now of course I am writing to you about your parish’s Free Will Offer to our Diocesan Common Fund for 2020. This is such a vital year for the outworking of the goals into which we have poured so much prayer and work together. So my prayer is simply that we catch the vision and bring forth great abundance, like the people of Israel in the Second Book of Chronicles."

Below you can download his letter, together with the resources he refers to. You are welcome to duplicate, circulate and make use of any of these downloads.

'First Fruits' resources from the Generous Giving Team

As the PCC discusses how best to respond generously, you may want to take a deeper look into how you can most effectively think about and discuss generosity in the context of your own church's mission and ministry.

As part of our investment as a diocese into our goal of achieving sustainability for our parishes, the Generous Giving Team now offers advice, support and guidance to enable parishes to resource their mission and invest in their future.

The team has produced a wide range of resources designed to help your PCC and your parish to explore themes of generosity with your whole church community. The materials on the theme of ‘First Fruits’ specifically explore giving the very best that we can offer in its broadest sense, and offering as a priority by placing God at the top of our list.

The full collection of 'First Fruits' resources can be found on the Generous Giving pages, or you can download a selection of them below.

  • PCC guide -an introduction booklet to the resource material, to help guide PCCs in discussion to identify areas of giving practice you may want to review.
  • Evening Prayer - a booklet-format liturgy for parishes to download and use when exploring generosity.
  • Eucharist - a booklet-format liturgy for parishes to download and use when exploring generosity.
  • Small group guide - booklet-format, designed to facilitate conversation in small groups around the subject of generosity, in the context of what our first fruits might be.

You can find more resources and advice on the Generous Giving pages, and meet the team who are ready to answer your call to help your parish respond to God's generosity.


Other Vital Resources

Your Parish Response

The Archbishop of York asks you to send an email to our Free Will Offer Team at freewilloffer@yorkdiocese.org by the 30th September 2019 with details of your Free Will Offer to our Diocesan Common Fund for 2020.

Please include:

  • Parish Name
  • Free Will Offer reference number (download a list sorted by Deanery)
  • Total amount of 2020 Free Will Offer
  • How did you make the decision?
  • Name and position of person submitting Free Will Offer
  • How payments will be made

The Free Will Offer Team will contact you in November about setting up standing orders and scheduling of payments.

Click here to download a template you can paste into your email if it helps.

Checklist - have you...

Thank you very much for playing your part in planning and resourcing our shared mission in 2020.

Contacts to help you

  • For advice on administration of Free Will Offer including payments:
    Diocesan Director of Finance, Kathryn Rose
    01904 699534
  • For support with this web page, downloads etc:
    Diocesan Director of Communications & Parish Resourcing, Martin Sheppard
    01904 699530