St James’, like any other large organisation, needs to be properly financed. Most of the church’s funding has to be raised from its members and the local community each year so that the costs of running the church can be fully met.
The Parochial Church Council (PCC) has full responsibility for all the decisions about the income and expenditure of the church. Our Treasurer acts on behalf of the PCC and ensures that our day to day finances are kept in order and our financial obligations are met. The summary accounts are presented at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) each year, a copy of which is available in church. The Treasurer ensures that the PCC is properly briefed on all financial matters. A team of Sidespersons count the collection after Sunday services on a rota basis.
Although we rely on what our members give each year for most of our income, we also receive rent from hiring out the church hall. Our costs include the Parish Share which we pay to the Diocese and which helps to fund the cost of clergy and give ministerial support to other, less fortunate, parishes. The amount of Parish Share we pay is allocated according to our congregational attendance. We pay for the maintenance, heating and power of the buildings. From time to time we face major expenditure for items such as the recent rebuilding of the wall on Lackon Bank. We also pay for our organist. The PCC aims to donate part of its net income to charity and we support a child living in Africa through Compassion UK as part of the Harrogate HG1000 scheme.
Regular Planned Giving helps the church to manage its budget. Such giving can be made through Gift Aid if you are a UK tax payer. This enables charities to ask the Inland Revenue for the tax the giver has already paid on the gift. Every £100 which is Gift Aided results in the charity receiving a further £25. Legacies are also a good way of giving to the church and we invite members to consider including a bequest to the church in their will.
How to give
The gift collection plate is circulated in Sunday services during the Offertory Hymn. We are then able to bring those gifts forward at an important moment in our service when we express our thanksgiving for all that God has given us. It is additionally helpful when gifts are made by standing order through bank accounts.
We invite those that are committed to St James’ to ask God to lead them in their financial giving as a response to God’s love. The Bible urges us to give from the heart and to be generous and sacrificial. Some people find the principle of the ‘tithe’ helpful – setting aside a tenth of our net income for the work of God. Christian stewardship is about considering our personal circumstances and responsibilities before God, in prayer, and giving accordingly.
We are most grateful for all financial gifts, which enable us to further God’s mission and ministry in the world and to bring the Good News of God’s love to all, through His church.
Parish Giving Scheme
The Parish Giving Scheme (PGS) is a secure and simple way of giving to Birstwith St James Church on a regular monthly basis (or quarterly or annually if you prefer). It works by making a Direct Debit from your bank account on the 1st of the month, which is credited to our parish bank account by the 10th of the month. If eligible, you can opt to add Gift Aid and PGS claims this on our behalf, passing it back to Birstwith St James Church which benefits our cash flow.
- The simplest way is online. Visit https://www.parishgiving.org.uk/donors/find-your-parish/birstwith-st-james-church-harrogate/ or scan the QR code
- By phone: 0333 002 1271, Monday to Friday 9.00am-5.00pm
- By post using the application form
You will need your bank details to set up the Direct Debit and, for phone or postal applications, Birstwith St James Church’s unique parish code 460646080.
We are blessed with a number of people who have a real heart for fundraising, upon which we rely enormously for part of our income.
We always have several fundraising events being planned at any one time and support for all our fundraising events is a great way for members of our congregation (and others….friends, neighbours, relations and colleagues) to engage in something specific and targeted to both our immediate and long-term needs.
The Birstwith 100 Club is the primary fundraising arm for the Church. There are currently just over 60 members and we are very grateful to them for their support. In 2015, as in previous years, we have continued to pass on around £2500 to Church funds. The target is 100 members, so we are always looking for new subscribers. The cost is fairly modest at £6 per month (£72 p.a.), with three monthly prizes of £100, £60 and £40. Please contact Sophie Bartlett ([email protected]) if you would like to learn more!
Please let the Vicar or Churchwardens know if you have any other bright ideas for possible events – you are very welcome to take the initiative on your idea and we will do our best to support you in whatever way we can.
Thank you for all you do to support us.