Giving is part of the Christian life of St Giles-in-the-Fields. We are encouraged to give of our skills, time and money to support the work of the church and that of other charities that build God’s kingdom.
St Giles-in-the-Fields helps to administer a number of charities that provide education and shelter to those in need in central London. The church also has links with the Simon Community, which supports the street community of the West End.
A stewardship church
The financial support that St Giles receives from its congregations and friends is vital to the work of the church: like all churches, St Giles receives no money from the state and is dependent upon voluntary contributions. These Donations and Legacies contribute to the cost of keeping the church open and allow us to achieve our mission of witnessing to the love of God through our worship, prayer and pastoral care.
The principles on which we give are proportionate – to give appropriately in proportion to our income (which differs for everyone); regular – to give even when we cannot be present; direct – to give through standing order if at all possible; and tax-efficient – to gift-aid our giving (if we pay sufficient tax). At St Giles we are working to become a ‘stewardship church’ where the majority of giving comes via these four principles. Like all parish (Anglican) churches, St Giles receives no money from the State and is dependent upon voluntary contributions to keep the church open and maintain the historic buildings.
In the current difficult economic climate, we understand that finding money to support the Church can be difficult. That is why we try to assist all our supporters in finding easy and affordable ways to give that also provide the maximum benefit for St Giles-in-the-Fields. The following information may help you think about the best ways of giving.
Under this scheme, our supporters can spread their donations to St Giles over a period of time, up to 4 years in total. By giving a small amount on a monthly basis, over a number of years, the benefit to St Giles-in-the-Fields can become significant. For example, a standing order for £25 per month for 4 years would provide St Giles with a total direct gift of £1,200 after 4 years.
Gift Aid is a government scheme under which, if you are a UK taxpayer, the government will donate 25p for every £1 donated to a recognised charity. This costs you nothing extra but significantly increases the amount that we as a charity receive. In the example above, the monthly £25 gift adds up to £1,200 over 4 years, but if you donate using Gift Aid the benefit to St Giles-in-the-Fields amounts to £1,500.
If you are a Higher Rate Taxpayer, then the cost to you is even less. The standard position for a 50% taxpayer is that a £1,200 net donation is worth £1,500 to St Giles. The gross value of the gift is therefore £1,500 and the donor on a 50% tax rate is able to claim tax relief on the total donation. This is thus an extra 25% personal relief of £375. So the net cost to donor is £1,200 – £375 = £825. So a gift that effectively costs the donor £825 is worth nearly double to St Giles.
Weekly giving in church
For many, the preferred way to support the work of St Giles-in-the-Fields is to make a donation during worship. There are two ways of doing this. If you wish to give regularly but do not wish to give through your bank, you can join the envelope scheme. You will then be provided with a year’s supply of dated envelopes which can be given in when you are able to attend worship. (These offerings can, of course, be increased by applying for Gift Aid). Alternatively, if you wish to give on a single occasion, simply place your gift in one of the yellow envelopes provided, complete your personal details and sign the front. In this way St Giles can receive Gift Aid on this donation.
We also believe that it is important to recognise the contribution of those who give by standing order when the offertory plate is passed during services. To this end, standing order givers can pick up one of the small laminated cards available on the sidesmen’s table and place these in the plate to ensure that their gifts are also recognised.
St Giles has a long history of generous benefactors, including Queen Matilda, its founder, and Alice, Duchess Dudley. These gifts have been invaluable in making the Christian presence of St Giles possible.
If you would like to join them then you may like to consider leaving a gift in your will to benefit the work and mission of St Giles. You can contact the Parish Office for more information. You can also find information about leaving legacies to the church on the Church of England’s Church Legacy website.
Giving regularly, putting something in the collection plate when we can attend, or giving a one-off donation, are all important ways of supporting the mission and ministry of a Church. At St Giles we are grateful for everyone who supports us in these ways. Yet giving financially is not the only way in which we can show our support for a Church. We can also give of our time and experience. These are just as valuable.
At St Giles we welcome all those who in any way wish to volunteer their time, skills or talents in the wider service of the Church. We can do this by serving as churchwardens, becoming active members of the PCC, taking our turn with others to set up and prepare for worship as sidesmen, and to welcome our congregations and visitors. We may be able to read one of the lessons in worship or sing in the St Giles Choir in the evening. It is also possible to offer the hospitality of refreshments after worship. Beyond these worship-centred tasks there are always other practical ways in which friends and supporters can become involved, especially if they were able to offer some time during the week or, perhaps, take up the fascinating art of bell-ringing.
We would love to hear from any who may wish, or may now be able, to volunteer their time and experience. You have only to speak to one of the clergy or churchwardens any time after worship or over refreshments. We look forward to hearing from you.
In whatever way you are able to support our life and work, we thank you.