Fake News! Finance FAQs & myths

Author: Miss Susan Bunting

Published on: 30 March 2018

At the recent Benefice support meetings held in November 2017, we discovered that there were some recurring questions, so we thought it might be helpful to share these and the answers with you.

  1. Does the Norwich Diocesan Board of Finance (NDBF) own Norwich Cathedral and The Close? No. The finances of the Cathedral and the houses in the Close are run and managed by the Dean and Chapter.
  2. Does the Government pay for our Clergy? No. The NDBF receives no government funding. All of the stipendiary clergy are funded by NDBF and the payroll is administered by the Church of England payroll team. The Diocesan Bishop and Suffragan Bishops are not paid by NDBF.
  3. Does the Central Church pay for Curates? No. Stipendiary curates are funded by NDBF and the payroll is administered by the Church of England payroll team.
  4. Are Trustees of NDBF paid for their work or helping at the support meetings? No. Out of pocket expenses only. Our non-ordained trustees consist of professionals or retired professionals who give up their time and expertise on  a voluntary basis. This is also true for internal boards such as the Property Committee, Glebe Committee and Investment Policy Group etc.
  5. Can I claim VAT back on PCC expenses? In some circumstances. PCCs can claim back VAT on works carried out under the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme. For more information visit www.lpwscheme.org.uk HANDY HINT – charities should be charged 5% VAT on utility bills covering charitable buildings – check your bill and ask to amend if this is 20% VAT, also ask for a refund of overcharges on previous bills.
  6. Now that we use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) we don’t use envelopes? No! In order to use GASDS you must have a history of claims using the envelope system. is is also important to maximise the amount that can be claimedunder both schemes. GASDS is not a replacement for the envelope scheme but should run alongside it. For Information, claims can be made on cash donations of £20 or less up to £8,000 per church per annum.
  7. What is the difference between Designated and Restricted funds? Restricted funds are given for a particular purpose from the outset. These are generally restricted by the donor(s) when they give a gift/ legacy or if a fundraising event is held for a particular purpose. The PCC cannot choose to restrict unrestricted funds. These funds may include endowment funds with the stipulation that the capital must be retained and only the interest can be spent (permanent endowment). In some circumstances the capital could become expendable (expendable endowment). Designated funds are unrestricted funds, set aside by the PCC for a particular purpose. These can be undesignated at a later date if the purpose is fulfilled or no longer exists. HANDY HINT – the majority of the insurance premium covers the building and therefore you may be able to pay this from Fabric funds.
  8. Why does the Diocese of Norwich ask for money when I read in the newspaper that the Church of England is so rich? Where newspaper articles refer to the Church of England’s finances, they are referring to the Church Commissioners, which is an independent charity. It is the third largest giver in the UK, giving over £200 million to the Church of England every year, within this, funding is provided towards mission projects, cathedrals, bishops’ running costs, and clergy pensions earned pre-1998. In 2016, it received income totalling £154.7 million and spent £386.9 million. The Diocese of Norwich is an independent charity and needs to raise funds locally via the Parish Share to pay for the ministry and mission costs in the Diocese of Norwich.

The above are just a snapshot of the questions and the answers to them. If you would like to explore any of these further or have some more questions of your own, please contact the finance team: fhfna.ohagvat@qvbprfrbsabejvpu.bet

The author...

Miss Susan Bunting

Director of Finance

This article is from...

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