Parish Share – 2019 thank you!

Author: Miss Susan Bunting

Published on: 14 May 2021

Our benefices continued to rise to the challenge in 2019, thank you!

Parish Share received for the year ended 31 December 2019 was £7,086,415 (89.54% of the total request). This compares with £7,109,908 received in 2018 (90.72% of the total request). Looking back to 2012, when Parish Share income had reduced to £5,982,917, a sustained increase of over £1.1m or 18.4% is a great achievement and we do not underestimate the amount of hard work that is involved in raising these funds.

Feedback from parishes continues to be positive: the TRiO (The Responsibility is Ours) allocation method is transparent; people know what they are paying for and what is the real cost of ministry; and support is there for those who cannot pay. Whilst income from Parish Share stabilised during 2019 it is still a significant amount of money to raise.

As a Diocesan family we are all enormously grateful to those whose generous giving enables the church to continue serving the communities across the Diocese of Norwich.

Frequently asked questions from benefice support meetings:
Each benefice receives its Benefice Share request at the beginning of July each year. Multi-parish benefices then need to meet to agree how the share will be divided between each parish. Where a benefice believes that it cannot realistically meet the challenge, a meeting will be held to assess the nature and level of support needed.

These meetings normally take place in November. At the recent benefice support meetings held in November 2019, 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. Can I claim VAT back on PCC expenses?
In some circumstances. PCCs apply for a grant to cover the VAT on works carried under the Listed Places of Worship grant scheme. For more information visit

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.

5. We use the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme (GASDS) so we don’t use envelopes
No! In order to use GASDS you must have a history of claims using the envelope system. This is also important to maximise the amount that can be claimed under
both schemes. GASDS is not a replacement for the envelope scheme but should run alongside it.

For information, claims can be made on cash or contactless donations of £30 or less up to £8,000 per church per annum.

6. How do we set up contactless giving?
Trials have been undertaken using the two main units which Goodbox provide. Both allow contactless donations to be taken even if you do not have a Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal.

These are: GBx mini – this is a mobile unit which would mainly be used for contactless donations but can also be used as a standard card reader when required. This can also be inserted into a Goodplate to provide a contactless collection plate.

GBx core – is designed to be a static unit to be used
in churches which may receive a larger number of visitors. It has a colour screen and can display
messages on the screen to interact with donors. These units can be viewed at

For the latest information and funding available please contact James South, Senior Finance Officer at

6. Is the NDBF the same as the Church Commissioners?
No. Every Board of Finance is a separate charity and a company Limited by guarantee. Our finances are completely separate. When articles are published in the national press regarding the Church Commissioners investment portfolios, this does not relate to local dioceses. The Church Commissioners manage an investment fund in a responsible and ethical way, using the money they make from investments to contribute towards the cost of mission projects, dioceses in low-income areas, bishops, cathedrals, and pensions.

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. 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.

The author...

Miss Susan Bunting

Director of Finance

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