Common Fund and Parish Share

Common Fund methodology consultation 2024

In the first half of 2024 we are seeking the views of people across Bath and Wells on the proposed changes to the way we calculate what parishes are requested to contribute into our Common Fund.

Phase two

Phase two of the Common Fund Consultation takes place from 15 to 25 April 2024. An in-person event is taking place in each archdeaconry, and two on Zoom.

The sessions will be an opportunity to hear feedback from phase one of the consultation and engage in discussions about the proposal and next steps.

Register to attend one of the sessions

Phase one

Over 500 people took part in the first phase of the consultation into the way we calculate what parishes are requested to contribute into our Common Fund. Phase one of the consultation is now closed and the feedback received is being reviewed before the second phase of the consultation takes place in April 2024. Details of how to take part will be available shortly.

Download the following documents to find out more about the consultation.

Common Fund proposal document
At a glance guide to the proposal - full colour
At a glance guide to the Common Fund - full colour (updated 22 Feb 24)

At a glance guide to the proposal - printable version
At a glance guide to the Common Fund - printable version (updated 22 Feb 24)

What is Parish Share and Common Fund

Parish Share is the sum of money contributed by each parish every year to the diocese to support local ministry. The Common Fund is the total of all 487 parish shares in Bath and Wells.

Every parish contributes to the Common Fund and every parish receives from the fund in the following ways:

  • parish priest’s monthly stipend
  • clergy pension contributions
  • housing costs
  • clergy training
  • the wide range of diocesan support services e.g. the Education Department, which supports local Church and community schools.

Parish Share is essential to the mission of the church in the diocese, without it clergy could not be supported. The Common Fund is the diocese’s largest single income stream.

The total amount of Common Fund required each year is divided between the parishes in a way that seeks to recognise the need for some parishes to be financially supported by others. How much each parish contributes is based on church regular worshippers (previously known as members) and the socio-economic category of the parish, determined by the parish itself. The required information is gathered each year in the Parish Share and Common Fund Survey.

Through Parish Share, each church is given the opportunity of contributing towards the financial cost of ministry in the entire diocese. Larger and wealthier parishes are asked to make greater contributions so stipendiary ministry can be provided to less wealthy areas that otherwise might not have been able to afford it.

As Paul the Apostle writes:

“Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need.” (2 Corinthians 8vv13-14a, NIV)

Who to contact

Finance team

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