THE PLUS ONE INITIATIVE
We are reviewing our giving at St Barnabas’ and asking everyone who comes to think about theirs for the year ahead. PLUS ONE invites you to consider several ways that you can add to your giving and asks that everyone does one new thing (or more if appropriate) for the coming year.
when we give, we give life
Giving and generosity are vital issues for churches and for church members. Every penny that St Barnabas’ receives through the generous giving of its members goes to resource our mission and ministry in one way or another: to have a full-time paid clergy person to serve church and parish and a part-time administrator to assist; to maintain the building as a beautiful place of worship and an excellent community resource; to support our various mission partners, who between them annually receive 10% of our giving to the church.
And every penny that we give through St Barnabas’ is an important expression of our faith in Christ who considered our attitude to money and wealth a deeply spiritual matter. Generous giving, to and through the church, is vital to resourcing and characterising all we do in a God-shaped way.
GUIDELINES FOR GIVING
Many church members are already giving generously. In keeping with the General Synod of the Archbishop’s Council and the Diocese of Southwark, we encourage a initial target of giving 5% of after-tax income to y/our church, as well as a similar amount to other work (charities, mission agencies of your choice) that also help build God’s kingdom. Experience shows that people often start giving below this level but increase it as their faith and their involvement in church grow.
In practice, you can undertake to give generously and regularly in various ways: loose collection, envelope scheme, or preferably, standing order. If you shop online, St Barnabas’ can benefit from that activity if you sign up to support us (St Barnabas’ Clapham Common) at givingabit.com where a small percentage of the amount you spend will be donated to us at no extra cost to you. And if you are a tax payer, we can claim 25% tax back on all you give too as soon as you sign a Gift Aid declaration. Giving through the Charities Aid Foundation is another possibility. You can download a giving form which gives further instructions here.
Needless to say, voluntary giving which is regular and structured also provides greater stability for the church’s income and allows greater imagination in how to use our financial resources not just to pay the bills but to develop what the church does: employing a part time pastoral care-worker or children’s worker, installing a new sound system or whatever.
GETTING FROM GIVING
In a consumer culture, generous giving is an important act of faith. It detaches us from our attraction to the false security of wealth, deconstructs the suggestive myth that we deserve ‘more’ and reminds us that the money I have is not really mine but God’s.
Generous giving is foundational in creating a culture of generosity which, in God’s economy, begets authentic spiritual rewards: gratitude, blessing, praise…and further generosity (see 2 Corinthians 9) because when we give, we also receive – and we will find that generosity is life-giving both for others and ourselves.