Nick Edmonds, Deputy Diocesan Secretary, explains more about the new parish share system, supporting growth across our diocese.
As Christmas approaches, the diocese’s parish support teams are busy working out parish share for next year, making sure enough is put aside to meet our shared commitments for 2018.
This year though there is a difference. As well as getting these numbers together in time for standing orders to be updated for 2018, we have been producing a provisional indication of what parishes will be asked to give from 2019 under a new parish share system.
Last week we were able to share figures for 2018 with treasurers and incumbents for all our parishes, and in January we will send out provisional 2019 figures, along with a full range of supporting materials. There will be an animated video, a detailed explanation of the new system, and FAQs document, which we hope will help everyone to understand and feel supported through the changes.
"We hope that the new system achieves a balance of being fair and simple"
When we started our review in 2016, Dr John Preston from the Church of England’s Stewardship team told us that in setting a new formula, we would need to strike a balance between one which was ‘simple’ and one which was ‘fair’ – highlighting that sometimes the fairest methods must sacrifice simplicity (for an example of this, have a look at the quota formulae behind the Church of England’s Single Transferable Vote system, which is used in General Synod elections!)
We hope that the new system achieves a balance of being fair and simple, being built on strong biblical principles, as well as supporting the objectives of Transforming Church, Transforming Lives. Most importantly we need to be sure we have a system which supports growth across our diocese, so that mission support is being given where it is most needed.
"At the moment our main priority is working 1:1 with any parish where there will be a significant change"
At the moment our main priority is working 1:1 with any parish where there will be a significant change to parish share and where this might be a challenge. If this is you, your parish should already be aware and meetings will be taking place before Christmas with the aim of making sure everyone is confident they have a workable way forward.
While we’re sure each of our 162 parishes will be keen to know what the changes will bring, we are also confident that those places not experiencing such a large change will understand that our attention at the moment is on the 35 or so most affected parishes. Of course, everyone will have the chance to ask questions and meet to discuss any element of the new system, once the numbers are published in January.
"Everyone will have the chance to ask questions and meet to discuss any element of the new system, once the numbers are published in January"
In the meantime, if you have any queries relating to your parish share for 2018 or the current year please don’t hesitate to be in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org or 01483 790 329.
If you have been keeping up to speed with the different reports and videos we have been sharing throughout the review, these are all available on the parish share review pages of the website.
The full FAQs, video and information documents aren’t quite finished, we’ll let you know as soon as these are available.