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Women top bequests to charities

21 October 2016

Child-size: a pupil from Thornhill Junior and Infant School, in the mini-vestments that resulted from a legacy

Child-size: a pupil from Thornhill Junior and Infant School, in the mini-vestments that resulted from a legacy

CHRISTIAN women bequeath more money to charities in their wills than Christian men, research from Christian Legacy has suggested.

In its latest report, 65 per cent of Christian women surveyed said that they had included a charitable gift in their will, compared with 35 per cent of men. The report also suggested that Christians who leave charitable legacies are likely to spread their gifts across almost twice as many charities as non-Christians.

Of all charitable legacies made in the past three years, 15.7 per cent had been given to Christian charities or places of worship. And of the total income of Christian charities, legacies contributed to three per cent, that is, from about 12,000 people across the UK, the report says.

The report was published to mark the beginning of Christian Legacy Week, on Monday, which is encouraging Christians to consider leaving a gift in their will to their church or preferred Christian charity. Christian Legacy, which represents a group of churches and Christian charities, has suggested that an increasing number of charities in the UK are focusing on bequests as a key way to raise funds, since donations have fallen in recent years in line with the economy.

Previous research suggested that the Church of England and its parishes received legacy income totalling £49.5 million in 2013. This was compared with more than £200 million given in tax-efficient donations last year through Gift Aid, by all parish churches, and a further £200 million given in cash and other donations by congregations and visitors.

The head of legacy giving at Christian Legacy, Howard Barker, said: “Leaving a gift in your will is a final opportunity to make a lasting gift to the future of your church and community. Large or small, every gift will make the world a better place for your family and beyond.”

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