How much should I give?
Are there guidelines that members of Stockbridge should follow? Giving is an individual matter which each of us must ponder, before taking action. So the answer to the question is 'No', because personal circumstances, commitments and responsibilities vary so widely. However much you give, it helps the church enormously if you give on a regular basis. People use different methods to give to the church.
How do you give? Here are some possible answers:
"I give using the White Freewill Offering Envelopes. By using these I commit to giving a regular amount each week. If I miss a week, I can make it up the next time. This kind of giving allows the Treasurer to plan the Church finances better, because it gives an accurate picture of how much money is coming in. I am not a tax payer, so I can’t make use of the Gift Aid scheme, but I could set up a weekly, monthly or annual Standing Order to my bank as an alternative. That would save me having to fill an envelope each week and make sure I don’t forget."
"I have a job and I pay Income Tax. I use the Gift Aid Scheme so that the Church can reclaim tax on the amount I give and get 20% more. I have filled in a Gift Aid form, authorising the Church to reclaim the tax. The Gift Aid form only ever needs to be filled in once and it doesn’t cost me anything. I use the Pink Freewill Offering Envelopes which are for people who Gift Aid their weekly payments. An alternative would be to pay by a weekly, monthly or annual Standing Order."
"I don’t attend Church every week, so I don’t use envelopes. I give whatever change I have in my purse/pocket on the occasions when I go to Church. Perhaps I should think of giving a regular amount by Standing Order. Then I would be making a regular contribution to the Church even when I‘m not there."
"I give by Standing Order and I have signed up to the Gift Aid scheme. It seemed funny at first passing the offering bag without putting anything in, but I quickly got used to it and I’ve noticed that lots of people now contribute in this way."
"My work runs a Give as You Earn scheme, so I give by this method. I signed up for my chosen amount to be taken off my salary, before tax, and it is Gift Aided. This makes sure that I give a regular contribution from my earnings to the Church."
Regular, recorded giving really helps the Treasurer to manage the Church’s finances and work more effectively. Recorded giving – that is, using Freewill Offering Envelopes, Standing Orders and Gift Aid - is completely confidential. If you are a tax payer, Gift Aid makes good sense. It allows the Church to get maximum benefit from your contribution. If you would like further information about Gift Aid or setting up a Standing Order please contact the Treasurer.