Treasurer

The role of Treasurer is essential in ensuring that a church is healthy and sustainable...

however, finding the right person, can be challenging, especially in smaller churches.


If you are already a treasurer and are looking for information relating to Parish Finances or Enabling Giving, please click the links. 

If you have any questions, please find details and contact information for the Diocesan Finance Team.


Finding a new treasurer

If you have any questions, or would like some help, with finding a new treasurer, please contact Helen Archer-Smith.

1) Plan for emergencies

Even if your treasurer is planning to be with you for many years, it is important to have in place a plan should they no longer be able to fulfil their role. For example, if the treasurer is ill, how will the church continue to make payments or pay in donations in cheque or cash form. For medium and large churches you may want to appoint an assistant treasurer, and for smaller churches it may be another member of the PCC or a churchwarden. They should get to know how the finances for the church works and make sure they are on any relevant bank mandates. 

2) Plan for a handover

When your treasurer lets you know that they are stepping down, see if it is possible that you can have a period of time to find the right person and a significant period for handover, especially if the new treasurer is likely to not be an accountant or in professional financial services. 

3) Pray

Knowing that you need to find a new treasurer, begin with prayer. Make sure that the prayer request is included in your parish newsletter and other prayer networks. 

4) Create a role description and let people know

It is helpful to create a role description, including predicted time commitments, to help potential volunteers. To begin, you should ask your current treasurer what they consider their job involves and the time commitment involved. Each church is different, for some it will include HR matters such as paying staff, some will have endowments, others will include claiming Gift Aid, so while there are several example role descriptions available online, these will need to be tailored for your circumstances.

It may also be the time to consider, especially if you are in a benefice or multi-church parish, whether the finances could be simplified and the treasurer for one of your other churches take on the role for both churches. 

Parish Resources gives some suggestions as to what you might be looking for in a new treasurer, and you may find the Charity Commissioners advice on finding new trustees helpful. 

It is also important to consider what restrictions there are to someone being treasurer, as with Churchwardens, you may wish to ask them to self-declare if they are aware of any reason which could disqualify them.

Once you have a role description you will need to consider how you will consider if a volunteer is suitable for the role. As the role usually involves handling money and caring for the donations of you congregation, this will need to be someone who is trustworthy, is able to maintain confidentiality, and sympathises with the aims of the PCC. 

When these are in place, advertise as widely as possible. While you first port of call may be your own church, parish or benefice newsletter and website, you may also want to advertise in a village newsletter. If you are a larger church with more complicated finances, you may also want to advertise through the Diocese and through volunteering organisations. Many local Councils also offer advertising for organisations looking for volunteers. 

If you would like some help putting together a job description, please contact Helen Archer-Smith, the Director of Finance. Also, if you would like us to advertise via the Diocesan website, please contact Sam Setchell.

5) Appoint a new treasurer

Once you have advertised for a new treasurer, hopefully at least one person will come forward. It is important to check that they do fulfil the necessary aspects of the role, and so an informal interview would be advised, possibly with the incumbent and a churchwarden. As the role involves handling money on behalf of the church and being a member of the PCC, you will also need to consider Safeguarding

If you find yourself in the fortunate but unusual position of having multiple qualified people apply for the role, then you could look and see whether the role could be split (so between someone who handles the finance and someone to handle stewardship) or shared. If it is decided to appoint only one person you will need to consider how best to appoint the right person, possibly by interviews. The HR section of our website might be helpful.

Also, remember that if a candidate is unsuccesful but would be suitable to be a treasurer, they might be willing to serve in a neighbouring parish or benefice. If you do not know who might be looking for a treasurer, please contact Helen Archer-Smith.

If you do not have anyone come forward, please do speak to Helen Archer-Smith, the Director of Finance, so we can help you with looking, see if the role could be simplified or see if another solution could be found.

6) Handover

Allow for a period of handover, which ideally should cover a period of year end, as this is when most questions arise. 

It is also important for the new treasurer to have time with the incumbent and churchwardens to help them understand the mission and aims of the church or parish. 


Help for new treasurers

When you have appointed a new treasurer, please let Jessica Lambert know, so that we can update our contact information at the Diocesan offices, and make sure they are invited to related events and training. 

An introductory guide for New Church Treasurers has been produced by ACAT (the Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers) and is freely available through Parish Resources (which is a wonderful resource). 

The Church of England has an excellent publication to help PCCs meet their reporting responsibilities: PCC Accountability: The Charities Act 2011 and PCC (5th edition) (to purchase or read online for free here). The book covers all areas of producing the annual report and accounts, including a full set of example accounts.

Hunting down the best value deals for your church isn’t always easy and takes time. That’s why the National Church and the dioceses set up the Parish Buying service. The Parish Buying team use the bulk buying power of the Church to negotiate competitive prices with approved suppliers, across a range of different products. 

The Diocesan website has a reange of resources and information relating to Parish Finances or Enabling Giving, please click the links. 

If you have any questions, please find details and contact information for the Diocesan Finance Team.

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