The legacy lives on

Author: Mr Colin Tomlin

Published on: 5 September 2022

Legacies are a lifeline for our parishes. Church of England parishes receive over 4,000 legacies each year – gifts to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings and grow faithful and faith filled communities.

These gifts make a real difference to the future work of the Church – as regular giving often concentrates on maintaining the existing mission and ministry.

Take the story of Jack & Barbara Bearne. In life, they were an integral part of the church and served as welcomers who greeted everyone with a big smile and words of encouragement.

They went on to leave a sizeable six figure legacy to their church in, St Michael’s in Alphington, in the Diocese of Exeter.

Receiving such a generous gift challenged the church community to consider their vision for the future. As Jack and Barbara had spent their life serving the local community, it was in this spirit that the decision was taken to reorder the church building to better meet the needs of the local community.

For the Revd Mike Partridge, “(though) the legacy was spent on the building, this was not simply a building project, what they have done is turn the building inside out so everyone can see the welcome here”.

The church path and entrance have been made accessible for all, while a new suite of rooms have helped the church’s mission and outreach grow enormously. The result is a building that is a beautiful blend of old and new and is now open to the public every day.

Even closer to home, the story of Laurie and Margaret Edwards is also encouraging in just how transformative a legacy gift can be.

Having been active in their local parish for many years, they left a legacy of £32,000 that led to a full refurbishment of the church including a new lighting system that was 50% cheaper to run.

There are countless other stories of how legacies have transformed parishes up and down the country.

Whether it is a complete refurbishment, a new lighting system, a new screen or repairing the bell tower, the gift is used to invest in the life of the church and community.

Beyond our regular lifetime, someone leaving a gift in their will can be a final and powerful expression of gratitude and thanksgiving towards God and can help transform a local church’s future.

In short, the legacy lives on.

The author...

Mr Colin Tomlin

Generous Giving Adviser

This article is from...

Articles in this issue...

Prayer, presence, proclamation and persuasion

Bacon sandwiches, time together and great input was a recipe for success as far as our PCC was concerned!


Eyes fixed on Jesus

A large group of us gathered from the Trunch Benefice during March in our Mundesley Community rooms to join others on Zoom for the Diocese: Leading Your Church into Growth (LYCiG) conference.


One Big Day 2022

“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Hebrews 10: 23-25


PCC News survey follow up

One of the outcomes of the PCC News survey was that a few people asked for reports from parishes already using The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) in our Diocese.


Avoid bank charges

I am treasurer of Cromer and also Sheringham PCCs and I became aware that at Cromer we are being charged over £100 a month in bank charges.


Bergh Apton Church thanks Keys Auctioneers

It was an item in the summer 2021 issue of PCC news that first sparked the idea.


Consider the butterflies

Have you noticed this year’s butterflies? Since we rewilded part of our garden Helen and I have been struck by the number and variety of butterflies that visit.


‘Being prayerful’

As many readers will be aware, the new Diocesan vision embraces the threefold invitation to be “Prayerful, Pastoral, Prophetic”, and this year the emphasis has been on the first of those.


Maintenance matters

When the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB) was founded, William Morris wrote of the need to “stave off decay by daily care, to prop a perilous wall or mend a leaky roof.”


Safeguarding training update – August 2022

Where has this year gone? Here we are entering the Autumn, and what this time last year felt like a new Training Plan to be delivered, is now well very well established, and planning for next year already well underway!


Keep up to date

Subscribe to our eNews for a snapshot of news, events and resources, usually emailed once a fortnight

Signup to newsletter