A Practical Guide to how you can help contribute to St Mary's
Why should I give to St Mary's?
St Mary's relies on the generosity of its congregation for its survival and development. We receive no external funding, such as grants from government, local council or the Church of England. All our income derives from donations made by the congregation, mostly under our Pledged Giving Scheme. This is why we need to ask you to think about how much you can give to us.
The Church understands giving for God – time, talents and money – as a spiritual discipline, as an expression of Christian commitment and as a way of enabling and enlarging the mission of the Church.
The Church will continue to thrive if you give to us regularly. We are fortunate to worship in a splendid, historic building, served by an excellent clergy team, but we can only do so because we have all done our bit to pay for them.
How much does it cost to run St Mary's?
St Mary's needs about £100,000 of income each year – that's £2,000 each week. This pays for items like clergy, music and administration salaries; heating, lighting, telephone, printing, postage, repairs and insurance. This may not sound exciting but it all has to be paid for! And, of course, these costs need to be met seven days a week throughout the year, not just on Sundays when services are held.
How much should I give?
A useful measure is to compare how much you spend on other items in the course of a month. Examples might include a tankful of petrol, a meal out, a trip to the theatre, a holiday, a visit to the dentist or renewing your home insurance. Surely your church is worth as much to you as one or more of these items?
How can I make my Donation more valuable
If you are a UK income tax payer, then the taxman will add a valuable 25p in the pound to any donation you make, provided you sign a simple Gift Aid form. This means that the net cost of giving £50 is only £37.50 while the church gets £62.50.
There is even better news if you are a higher rate taxpayer. You can reclaim the difference between the standard tax rate (20%) and the higher tax rate (40%). This means that your actual cost of giving £50 is only £40 while the Church gets £64.
Why should I feel good about giving?
We can all be proud that, after more than 1,300 years, St Mary's is a beautiful and thriving church in which to worship. This has only been achieved through the generosity of our congregation over the years. You can feel good about helping St Mary's survive and prosper in the future. You might also feel good about getting a tax refund!
Finally, have you thought about remembering St Mary's when you prepare or update your Will? Legacies to a charity like St Mary's are always welcome and will normally reduce the Inheritance Tax bill.