Parish Share

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take responsibility | be generous | have faith

As Christians in the CofE, we are connected with each other. Together in this area, we are the Diocese of Bristol.

Our vision is to help others connect with God as we connect more with our communities and with God ourselves.

This is how the Church grows and how God’s Kingdom – His ‘big idea’ – becomes a reality.

We know that it is God who gives the growth, but He calls and empowers us all to play our part. And we know that He equips His Church through its ministers and leaders.

We know that many of our ministers need to be paid and provided for. We know that our leaders need to be trained and supported in different ways to build up the Church.

We know that it is important to support and develop our church schools so that children and young people can be educated in a Christian environment.

And we know that the best way to ensure this provision and support across our area is to provide ministers and offer support at a diocesan level.

This is why, in each church, we give Parish Share: the main way we fund ministry and support.

In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity; they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Since you excel in everything, see that you also excel in this grace of giving. – 2 Cor 8:2-3, 7

We each give what we can, so that we can all receive what we need.

This is what St Paul taught in the New Testament (2 Corinthians 8 and 9) and what the Early Church did. It is this teaching and example that shapes our approach to Parish Share.

Together we have recognised that, if we are to fund the ministry we want and need, now and into the future, our approach and response to Parish Share needs to change.

1. We need to understand more fully why we give in Parish Share.
We give in Parish Share:

  • because we want to help others connect with God, the Church to grow and God’s Kingdom to come.
  • because we are connected with each other as a Church.
  • to train, provide for and support our clergy and church leaders, now and in the future.
  • to ensure we have support to make our churches safe, effective and creative.
    2. We need to recapture the principles demonstrated by the Early Church.
    We give in Parish Share:

  • to take responsibility for the ministry and support we have been given and not burden others.
  • to be generous to others, because God is generous to us.
  • because we have faith that God will provide all we need for His mission.
  • because it is a spiritual as well as a practical priority.
    3. We need to have confidence in each other and those overseeing the Diocese.
    We need to have confidence:

  • that each of us is being asked to give an amount that is responsible, generous and that requires faith.
  • that we will all be challenged if our response does not meet those principles.
  • that what we give is spent wisely, accountably and fruitfully.
    4. We need support to become a more generous Church.
    We need:

  • help as churches to encourage Christians to give more generously.
  • effective and practical tools to enable us to make the most of what we give.
    So as we commit to our ‘Creating connections’ vision, our approach to Parish Share will:

  • keep us focused on our vision, and how Parish Share helps us to fund it by sharing stories of connecting with God, each other and our communities.
  • be transparent about our financial need as a diocese: what we spend and why we spend it.
  • be explicit about each parish’s size, wealth and the resources given to it, and what level of Parish Share commitment is expected as a response.
  • train people from across the Diocese who can talk with individual parishes about their situation and help them to develop ways to meet their Parish Share commitment.
  • invest in a Mission Resources Adviser who can encourage and train, share and spread good teaching and practice about giving.
  • remind us that Parish Share is connected with our ministry and mission challenges and opportunities, and help us address them.
    Making these changes will involve challenges for us all, care and conversation. Please prayfully consider how your parish will respond.

    Thank you for your support of mission and ministry across this diocese and for playing your part in our diocesan vision ‘Creating connections’.

    / Related Content

    Resources for giving in your parish →
    An overview of Diocesan Finances →
    Parish Share response →

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