One of the key elements of the diocese moving into the third decade of this millennium is that we put mission and evangelism at the heart of all that we do. Christian stewardship has been a strand of theology and practice which has done this for many decades. Christian stewardship is putting into practice the management and use of God-given resources to engage with mission on our doorstep and well beyond. In Bath and Wells we have developed this from just personal giving (which remains top of our priority list) and additionally moved into exploration of:
- How we acquire and use resources from grant making bodies
- How we use our buildings as a resource beyond that for worship
- How we use our buildings as a passive resource for mission and evangelism
- How we use legacies to resource future mission and evangelism.
The role of the Stewardship team is to work with parishes in situations such as:
- A PCC reviewing giving in the light of their current or expected financial situation
- A standing committee thinking about a major (capital) appeal for a specific project
- A home-group or study series looking at stewardship as part of discipleship
- A Sunday service with a theme of giving, commitment, time and talents, or the Christian use of money
But one-off sermons or addresses may not be effective unless tied into an ongoing programme of thinking about God’s gifts to us and how we use them! We encourage parishes to have an annual planned giving review, so that this is looked at regularly as a normal part of the life of your parish. The use of money within any church must be linked to vision and mission (the what and why we do what we do).
These pages will explore issues and provide sign posts to resources and further guidance. The national Parish Resources website provides more guidance.