How you can support our Ministry at the Tab
Obviously the church needs money to run, in order to serve the community and make a difference. In the United Reformed Church each church has to fund its own activities, local mission and the upkeep of its own buildings. Each church pays into a national fund, called the Ministry and Mission (MAM) fund, which then pays for all the ministers and the national administration of the church, mission nationally and internationally and training. Each minister, regardless of situation, gets the same stipend.
A stipend is technically different from a salary in that it is not money given in return for work done but it is money given so that the minister is largely free from concerns about earning enough money to live on and so can devote his/her full time to the work of the church. Each Synod levies its churches for a contribution for the costs of the running of the Synod and for their contribution to MAM. No church in the URC is forced to pay anything – although if a church offers nothing, or a pastorate doesn’t pay its way, then their allocation of ministry may be withdrawn or re-scoped.
For 2016 we have been asked to contribute £50K to MAM which, with a present membership of 136, equates to roughly £368 per member per year. On top of that is the money we also need to maintain and take forward our own church in mission.
Of course we recognise that some people are in a position to contribute more, and others less. There is no fixed membership fee for being a church member!
Being a church member does not depend on what you can give financially!
What you can give towards the work of this church is a question between you and God. Please pray about it.
The URC a few years back recommended that members set aside 5% of their income for the local church and 5% to give to other charitable causes and Christian work, thereby adhering to the biblical principle of tithing a tenth of your income (Deuteronomy 14.22-29) and giving back for God’s work in appreciation of the harvest of good gifts that God has given to you. This was always with the caveat of making sure that you had enough to live on first of all. John Wesley famously said that we should live as simply as we could, earn all we could, and give away all we could (to the poor and not just to the church). Paul tells us to give cheerfully and giving is done from the heart (2 Corinthians 8 and 9 vs.-8). Of course not everyone is in a privileged position to have spare money to give.
Churches will always be needing money! As a growing church will want to develop and thrive and make more of an impact for the gospel. As such we need to try to be as generous as we can, by reflecting the abundant grace of our loving God who did not count the cost but gave us even his only Son Jesus Christ, that we may have life! We are all in this together and we have seen God’s wonderful provision in recent years. May we continue to trust that God will supply all our needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4 vs10-20)
You can increase your giving by over a quarter, through no extra cost to yourself, if you Gift Aid your giving. Forms can be requested from the treasurer Denis Allen, who would also be glad to answer any further questions you have about giving to the church and where the money is spent.