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Stewardship buys church-plant charity

15 November 2019

ISTOCK

TWO charities — Kingdom Bank and Stewardship — which have shared roots in Free Church church-planting are set to merge, it was announced last week.

The purchase of Kingdom Bank by Stewardship was made possible by the investment of a “committed group of Evangelical Christian philanthropists”, Stewardship’s chair of trustees, Simon Blake, said.

Stewardship received £130 million in gifts and donations in 2018-19, up from £78 million on the previous year. Founded in 1906 to serve as a trustee of church properties for the Brethren movement, today it works with more than 30,000 Christians who, through its tools, give more than £80 million each year to a range of Christian charities.

Among the services that it offers are: a giving account, enabling people to donate to one of 19,000 charities on its database; a free online fund-raising website; a comprehensive payroll service; and mortgages.

Kingdom Bank, owned by the Assemblies of God Property Trust, is a Christian bank, established in the 1950s to enable Pentecostal Churches to purchase premises. Today, it works across denominations, and finances more than £40-million’s worth of projects that support growing churches.

On Tuesday, the CEO of Stewardship, Stewart McCulloch, said that it was increasingly helping high-net-worth donors in their giving — a trend that had emerged in the United States. “You need the right advice and right structures to make larger gifts: it’s a lot harder than people think to give away money,” he said.

The partnership is subject to approval by the financial regulators, the Prudential Regulation Authority and the Financial Conduct Authority.

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