*** DEBUG START ***
*** DEBUG END ***
Important information: We are currently experiencing technical issues with the webiste and it is currently running with reduced functionality, some category pages may not contain a full list of articles and the search is not currently working. We apologise for the inconvenience and should have everything back to normal as soon as possible.

Gift Aid provides windfall for C of E

03 January 2014

DONATIONS to Church of England parishes have more than doubled over the past 30 years despite a fall in attendance of more than a quarter, research by the charity publishing company Civil Society has found.

The organisation says that the increase is the result of organised campaigns promoting tax-efficient giving, such as Gift Aid; andsays that £212 million of the addi-tional £217 million given to churches was given in a tax-efficient way.

"The Churches pioneered the idea of regular weekly or monthly gifts - the practice goes back to biblical times 2000 years ago," said Ian Clark, a fellow of the Institute of Fundraising, who serves as a consultant to Civil Society.

"As wage and salary payments changed, they adapted as weekly envelopes were replaced by bank standing orders and direct debits. The tax reliefs provided by Gift Aid certainly motivated many more donors to switch from casual to committed giving, thus helping to both grow and stabilise the Church's income."

Civil Society says that eight per cent of total Gift Aid claims are made by C-of-E-related charities- most of them local parishes;and that this amounts to a com-bined windfall of £80 million each year.

The research was published in response to a report by the National Audit Office (NAO) in November that warned that the Govern-ment could not demonstrate that "the increased cost to the taxpayer" of the Gift Aid scheme "has re-sulted in a rise in donations to charity".

The NAO said that the Government "should collect better evidence on the impact of reliefs on donor behaviour and should work with the charitable sector and academics to obtain this".

"The Church of England has a fine tradition of encouraging generosity from individuals in response to God's overwhelm-ing generosity to us," a C of E spokesperson said. "In 2011, there was an increase in parish-givingof nearly £20 million, reaching£916 million. The Church ofEngland was able to claim £83 million in Gift Aid for that year."

The spokesperson said that donations to parishes accounted for "nearly two-thirds of the Church of England's giving", and that "Gift Aid remains a vital income-source for parishes, significantly increasing the resources that are available for the mission and ministry of the Church."

Forthcoming Events

29 September 2020
Festival of Preaching
A one-day online version of our popular preaching festival. With Mark Oakley, Sam Wells and Anna Carter Florence.   Book tickets

 

19 October 2020
Creativity out of crisis: Hymns and worship webinar
In association with RSCM, this online event will explore creative uses music and liturgy in the context online and socially distanced worship.    Book tickets

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)