Parish Share Questions and Answers

How do we pay parish share and are there any discounts?

The majority of parishes choose to pay either in full in January (which in 2020 attracted a 1.25% discount), or by monthly direct debit or standing order (2020—0.3% discount). These are the preferred methods because clergy stipends, pensions and other costs funded primarily from parish share are paid monthly.

What if we have difficulties in paying parish share?

  • Please do not change the way in which you calculate your Church Regular Worshippers or Category because of such difficulties.
  • Please do contact us as soon as possible if you have any payment concerns – we can offer help if you need to look at reviewing your parish’s regular income / expenditure.
  • You can ask the Giving and Funding Team for help with preparing a programme to encourage increased giving, or with securing grants to help fund expensive building works.

What are the consequences to parishes of unpaid share?

  • It is much harder to attract a priest to a vacancy if the benefice is known not to contribute its full share and it can be a source of embarrassment to your stipendiary clergy who are paid from Common Fund.
  • The other parishes of the diocese have to pay more in order to cover for you.
  • Your church regular worshippers may feel misled if they believe that a good proportion of their giving is going into the Common Fund to support ministry and mission in the diocese.
  • Your PCC may have difficulty accessing grants and loans, as funding bodies expect your church to be able to meet basic costs.
  • To learn more about Parish Share and its importance to the diocese, do watch the Common Fund DVD.

We discovered that we entered an incorrect number/category on our survey form—what should we do about it?

Notify us of the error and provide revised details.

  • If you tell us before mid-September, we will usually be able to adjust the calculation, if we receive a revised signed survey form.
  • If the change is notified to us after this time, we will not be able to alter your parish share calculation, but will encourage you to enter the correct figures in the following survey year form. Any caps or collars in the next calculation which arise because of the correction will not usually be applied.

What other factors affect our parish share calculation?

  • The overall change in Common Fund
  • Change in regular worshippers and categories (including S categories) across the diocese and the effect of caps / collars applied

Why has our parish share increased substantially, but our regular worshippers has been constant for the last few years?

This is usually because the parish had new regular worshippers and joiners in the last two years (see example 4 in the Worked Examples document which you can download below).

Why isn’t a discounted parish share offered in a vacancy?

The diocesan budget which sets the Common Fund requirement allows for a number of posts to be vacant each year.

If your parish is without a priest due to a vacancy or has a House-for-Duty priest, the ministry which Common Fund supports still continues throughout the whole diocese, including in the vacant benefice. Additional ministry costs are reimbursed to PCCs by the diocese.

It is expected that every parish will go through a vacancy at some stage so that the effect will even out over time.

Who to contact

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