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Joint campaign by Churches, Quakers, and Christian Aid seeks to boost bequests

07 August 2023

Church of England parishes receive ‘lifeline’ of more than 4000 legacies a year

CHRISTIAN AID has for the first time joined up with the Church of England, the Church of Scotland, and Quakers in Britain to encourage worshippers to consider leaving a legacy to their church and to the charity, after providing for friends and family.

The charities legacy market is estimated to be worth more than £3 billion a year. C of E parishes receive more than 4000 legacies a year, considered in many instances to be a lifeline, since regular giving often concentrates on maintaining existing mission and ministry. But, currently, only one in four wills contains a specific bequest, according to research this spring by Remember A Charity.

The campaign for the joint legacy initiative, Faith Will, will run next month. Christian Aid’s director of fund-raising and supporter engagement, Nick Georgiadis, said: “Christian Aid is delighted to be coming together with church leaders to work in partnership on this transformational initiative. Making a Will is a personal and powerful way for our faith to live on and create lasting change in our local and global communities.”

A survey by Christian Research in 2015 found that more than half of the Anglicans who planned to leave a gift in their will to a church or charity would choose their church over a charity (News, 23 October 2015). Churches are being encouraged to hold exploratory Faith Will moments, using resources available for PCCs.

The C of E already offers a free online will-writing service in partnership with the company Farewill, at farewill.com/cofe. The Bishop of Croydon, Dr Rosemarie Mallett, said: “When we make a will, we actively choose what we will do with the gifts we have received in our lifetime. . . Our gifts can be a legacy to ensure we can act justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.”

A statement from the Church of Scotland welcomed the partnership approach in terms of Christian stewardship. The Convener of the Church’s General Assembly, the Revd David Cameron, said: “As we approach harvest time, we feel gratitude for God’s enduring faithfulness and generosity. This joint initiative will inspire our members and supporters to consider how a legacy gift to their church and Christian Aid can become a lasting expression of thankfulness to God.”

The Recording Clerk of the Quakers in Britain Yearly Meeting, Paul Parker, said: “Leaving a gift in our will to support both Quaker work and charities like Christian Aid means our lives can speak beyond our own lifetime.”


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