Benefices rise to the challenge

Author: Geoff Freeman

Published on: 7 June 2015

Parish Share received in 2014 increased by 8% - thank you! "A tremendous effort by all concerned who paid in full - my personal thanks for all your hard work" - Bill Husselby, Chair of the Board of Finance

What is Parish Share?

Parish Share is a contribution by churches towards the cost of the mission and ministry of the Church in the Diocese, which is primarily the cost of clergy.

How is it calculated?

For the sake of clarity, we divide the cost of mission and ministry into two:

  • The direct cost of placing one full-time stipendiary priest into a benefice. This includes the stipend, employer’s national insurance, pension contributions, housing, training and support. This is adjusted if there is more or less than one full-time post, i.e. part-time or House for Duty.
  • The additional costs of mission and ministry in the Diocese – Diocesan Mission Support. This includes the training of our curates and Readers, support for church schools, social and community concerns, support for youth and children’s work, establishing new churches, training for the laity, DAC, etc.


Support can be offered in a variety of ways, including financial, assistance with growth plans or stewardship campaigns.

We receive a grant each year from the Church Commissioners (currently £1.6m), the purpose of which is to support struggling parishes. We have used a proportion of this grant to fund the transition process from the old Parish Share allocation method to the new. The remainder is given directly to benefices by way of a reduction in their request.

The process

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. Agreed amounts need to be given to the Diocesan Finance Department by the end of November. 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.

So what happened in 2014?

Our Benefices rose to the challenge! Thank you! Parish Share received for the year ended 31 Dec 2014 was £6,629,328 (93.15% of the total request) an increase of £502,986 (8.21%) on 2013. This is the highest collection achieved in this Diocese.

We ask that you continue to support our ministry and each other, remembering that the responsibility is indeed ours.

The author...

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Geoff Freeman

Parish Funding Support Officer

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