Parish Share survey
Parish Share is the sum of money paid by each parish every year to the diocese to support local ministry. The Common Fund is the total of all 493 parish shares in Bath and Wells.
Every parish contributes to the Common Fund and every parish receives from the Fund.
In this diocese, the basic parish share calculation is done by taking current Church Membership (reduced to allow new members to be phased in over three years), and applying a weighted multiple according to the Category selected by the parish, to reflect the relative income of its membership.
This information is completed on the survey forms sent out to parish churchwardens in January, which are then returned to the Diocesan office and scrutinised at archdeaconry level before being included in the calculation for the next year’s share.
Guidance about how to complete the form may be found on the Calculating Parish Share page (see link at the bottom of the page).
A checklist to help you send your completed annual accounts and finance returns to the Diocesan Office may be downloaded from the Accounting & Returns webpage (see link at bottom of page).
Return of Parish Finance
Every year Treasurers must complete the Return of Parish Finance by 30 April, using information that will have been compiled for the annual parish accounts and liaising where appropriate with a Planned Giving/Gift Aid Secretary to complete the boxes relating to the numbers of regular planned givers. Return of Parish Finance forms for January to December are sent to Treasurers via Churchwardens in January each year. You can also download the forms and guidance notes from the bottom of this page.
You can submit your parish return online. Log in details are available from the Finance team. Alternatively, you can send your return to Yvonne Thompson, Diocesan Office, The Old Deanery, WELLS, BA5 2UG.
Statistics for Mission
Statistics for Mission for each calendar year are due to the diocese by end of the following January. The form is sent from the Diocesan Office to the first-named Churchwarden in September each year, to be completed by Incumbent and Churchwardens. Statistics for Mission requests information relating to baptisms, weddings, funerals, attendance at Christmas and Easter, attendance on Sundays and weekdays during October, ‘worshipping community’ and Electoral Roll numbers. There is usually an additional one-off question on the form, and we will try to notify you in advance where some extra counting may be needed.
When the form is complete, it should be signed by the Incumbent and a Churchwarden, to signify agreement that the figures are correct, and a copy retained. You can submit your parish return online. Log in details are available from the Finance team. If you have not returned yours yet, you can download the Statistics for Mission form from the bottom of this page.
Use of information from Statistical Returns
The completed forms are sent online or via the Diocesan Office to the Archbishops’ Council Statistics Unit in London.
The Archbishops’ Council uses the statistical information collected from churches nationwide each year to publish the Parish Dashboards. The figures are used extensively by central church organisations and the various patterns of figures help determine a number of factors, including clergy deployment, allocations of new deacons and stipend support. The statistics from the Finance Return give an overview of how the Church stewards its resources, and can contribute to approaches to Government for extra assistance (eg VAT relief on repairs). Increasingly, information from both these sources is used at diocesan and deanery level to discern the need for clergy deployment and financial resourcing.
Occasionally, a member of the Statistics Unit will ask to see a copy of the accounts for a particular parish.