Church Finances

The closure of buildings has impacted cash collections, premises hire fees, fundraising events etc and has significantly reduced the income of most churches. To manage this effectively it is important to consider both income and expenditure.

Managing expenditure

Some expenditure will decline with lack of activity. Try and identify what doesn’t need to be spent at this time.

Some expenditure that you would normally view as ‘fixed’ or essential may be able to be postponed until income has recovered. In particular, consider the following:

  • Furlough employees to recover 80% of the cost of their pay under the government scheme. For more details and advice contact the HR team.
  • If church insurance falls due, contact the insurer to see if you can pay in instalments.
  • If you are genuinely struggling to pay utility bills, contact providers to see if they can offer easier payment terms.

Parish Share is usually one of, if not the largest item of expenditure in the PCC budget. We are reliant on the regular payment of Parish Share to fund the regular payment of diocesan clergy. As a diocese we will experience serious cash flow difficulties if parishes universally delay payment of Parish Share.

We are however aware that making regular payments in full may become very difficult. If it is your normal practice to pay monthly and you need to reduce your payments at this time, please let the finance team know and think carefully about what you are able to keep paying. If you have unrestricted reserves, it is appropriate to use these to continue to pay with a view to working to restore them once income recovers. If you normally pay Parish Share at the end of the year, please consider making monthly payments. If you are able, this will help us to manage cash flow more efficiently.

A minority of churches may be in a sufficiently strong financial position to be able to pay most or all of their Parish Share up front. We are immensely grateful to those parishes who have already done this and hope that others may consider doing so.

Managing income

Most churches are experiencing a significant drop in their regular income. Some of this will be restored once social distancing comes to an end but much of it will be lost. This requires care with cash flow, your ability to pay your bills as they fall due and budgeting for expenditure in the future.If you need help or guidance with your finances, please do contact the finance team or Alison Maddocks.

Steps to be taken now include:

  • Ensure regular cash givers are still able to give through other means (see above).
  • Enable people to make one-off gifts to your church through the website (see above).
  • If you have regular hirers of premises, see if they are in a position to pay you a proportion of their regular fee now to be discounted from fees later in the year.
  • Ensure people understand the importance of supporting the church at this time. Other charities and causes are very active in encouraging support to see them through the crisis, we mustn’t be left behind. If we don’t ask, people will assume that the need of others is greater.


Page last updated: 21st April 2020 10:57 AM
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