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Free training on running a legacy campaign this Autumn

Published: 27th September 2023

diocesan Kingdom People stewardship logoThe Stewardship and Resources team at the diocesan office, along with Eleanor Stead from the National Church, are running a training course for PCCs who might want to run a campaign to encourage legacies this autumn.  

Encouraging people to donate money or assets to your church in their will can be particularly effective for churches. Running a legacy campaign could provide a reliable source of funding that could be used for either the continuation of mission or for specific projects outside of the day to day. Donors may choose to leave a specific amount of money, a percentage of their estate, or specific assets such as property or stocks to the organisation of their choice.  

Church of England parishes receive over 4,000 legacies each year - gifts to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings and grow faithful communities. These gifts make a real difference to the future work of the Church. 

Last year, the National Church trialled making available a free will writing service to churches, which found that 25% of those who used the service left a gift to their church, and that 97% of these were residuary (compared to 20% normally). The average gift left to a church through the service came to £17,800. 

More people write their wills in November than any other month of the year, so running a campaign around this time and starting those conversations could be a good opportunity. 

What’s in it for you as a PCC? 

Our parishioners are incredibly generous and often leave legacies to charities, but not always to churches. The 2020 Anglican Giving Survey found that Anglicans are three times more likely to leave a legacy to a charity than to their church. One key reason for this is that they are not asked to give.  Only 15% of those surveyed have ever been asked to consider including a gift to their church in their will, and we need to explain the impact their gift can have on our churches and their needs. 

Many people would like to know how they could leave a gift to their church but may not know how to go about it or who to speak to. It is important for all churches to make information available and to inspire members about the difference gifts in wills, no matter how large or small, can make.    

Running an occasional legacy campaign in your church and mentioning the importance of legacy giving throughout the year are essential. This can also spark wider conversations around death and dying which gives people the space to address their feelings and concerns around this and talk about their own funerals. 

What’s in it for your congregation? 

Everyone knows it’s a good idea to write their will, but for many of us, it is one of those things we put off for another day. As Christians we know how important it is to prepare for our own deaths, from St Francis commending people to prepare in his Canticle of the Creatures, to the Book of Common Prayer admonishing us to make our will in the Visitation of the Sick. Starting the conversation around legacies with our congregation can be a stepping stone to encourage them to have these conversations with their friends and family. Having a will can make things easier for those we leave behind, both financially and through expressing our funeral wishes. There is an option to write your will for free from the Church of England’s partnership with Farewill. This overcomes another common barrier for people, the cost of writing a will, and raising awareness about this will be of benefit to many people. 

Where to start 

The Stewardship and Resources team are here to help. On the 4 and 10 October (repeated sessions) we are running a training course for PCCs who might want to run their own legacy campaign. These sessions will be 45 mins and give you the tools you need to get started in running a campaign of your own. They will be online and free to attend. Eleanor Stead, from the National Church, will be joining us to talk about how to lead a successful legacies campaign. We will include why October and November are the perfect time to do this, how you can get free resources for your Church, how to address this tricky topic with your congregation, and how your congregation can get free wills through the National Church. 

Register here: 

For more information contact the stewardship team, Chris & Robyn, 


Page last updated: Wednesday 18th October 2023 4:05 PM

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