Parish share is what every parish contributes to resource mission and ministry across our diocese.
Because the Diocese of Guildford doesn’t get any income from the government and contributes money to the wider Church of England to help parishes in poorer parts of the country, we must raise everything we spend ourselves.
With very few historic reserves and investments, this means today’s people are paying for today’s Church and helping to lay strong foundations for tomorrow.
This is how Parish Share helps us to be a Transforming Church, Transforming Lives across all our communities, not just those who can afford it.
Watch this helpful video understand how things work.
- The Parish Share leaflet can be downloaded and shared with others by email
- Use the video above for use in church presentations.
- Further detail about our expenditure may be found in the Annual Report.
Parish Share Frequently Asked Questions
Parish Share is what every parish contributes to resource mission and ministry across our diocese. Because the Diocese of Guildford doesn’t get any income from the government and contributes money to the wider Church of England to help parishes in poorer parts of the country, we must raise everything we spend ourselves. With very few historic reserves and investments, this means today’s people are paying for today’s church and helping to lay strong foundations for tomorrow. This is how Parish Share helps us to be a Transforming Church, Transforming lives across all our communities, including those in our most deprived areas.
We need to raise around £13million a year to meet our commitments to funding ministry and mission in our diocese, and what we pay to the national Church. Of this, 89% is raised through Parish Share, with parochial fees (3%) and other sources of income making up the remainder.
Two thirds of our expenditure goes on the direct costs of ministry and housing for our clergy. This includes stipends, national insurance and pension contributions, building maintenance costs, insurance and council tax. The remaining third is split between our parish support, administrative and legal responsibilities and what we contribute to the national Church.
In 2014, Diocesan Synod passed a motion asking the new Bishop of Guildford (before Bishop Andrew arrived) to work with Bishop’s Council to ensure that Parish Share supported, and did not inhibit growth. The review-proper began in March 2016 with an initial consultation event held in Guildford Cathedral. Diocesan Synod voted on different stages of the review, and approved the new method at its meeting in June 2017.
The review process involved forming a steering group which included incumbents from large and small churches, churchwardens, treasurers, area deans, diocesan officers and archdeacons. It met around 15 times throughout the process, at regular intervals.
As well as three consultation events attended by treasurers and incumbents, PCCs and individuals responded via a questionnaire, as well as groups of area deans, larger church leaders, smaller church leaders and other dioceses. Roughly 300 people fed into the process through these routes.
Under the current system the total ministry cost is c.£63k (at the 2023 budget level). This comprises £45k of stipendiary related costs and £18k of housing related costs and is the same for every parish. The ministry cost includes your vicar’s stipend, national insurance and pension contributions, as well as costs related to housing and council tax. The costs of your vicar’s ongoing training, as well as the training of our future clergy, are also included.
Only the ‘core’ incumbent post is recharged through Parish Share. Any costs related to associate ministers are handled separately. Frequently this is one clergyperson per parish. Associate ministers are paid via the central stipends service, but an invoice by recharge is made to the parish. House for Duty posts are recharged through Parish Share if they are the main minister for a parish.
We take the three-year-average of all-week attendance submitted by each parish through the October counts each year as part of the Parish Returns, and multiply this by a relative affluence factor. This gives a proportion of the shared costs which each parish is asked to contribute. However, due to the significant fluctuations in attendance levels caused by the disruption of the pandemic, we are currently still using 2017, 2018 and 2019 figures in our calculations.
Rather than using simple council tax bandings, we now take a dataset for the entire population of the parish area from Experian. This means that the data is more reflective of the overall financial position of those in the parish.
Parish Share is calculated on a parish-by-parish basis. As before, parishes within benefices and deaneries are encouraged to work together to offer support during periods of financial challenge, but the responsibility will rest with each parish to meet what is requested.
The guiding principle for LEPs is that the parish should not be asked to pay more than it would as a normal parish simply for being an LEP. For example, where a Methodist circuit counted membership, this number would not be double counted by the diocese. Ministry costs are generally paid to whichever denomination is providing the clergyperson. As every LEP is different, a workable solution for particular instances should be reached in consultation with the Deputy Diocesan Secretary.
Deprivation support provides support for mission and ministry in deprived areas and communities which are unlikely to be able to fully self-fund the ministry cost of clergy over the longer term. This is applied as a contribution towards the direct cost of providing a minister in that parish.
Recognising both the challenge and missional opportunity in parishes with large populations, assistance in the form of discretionary population support is available. This is applied as a proportional discount of ministry costs, beginning at 5% if the parish population per incumbent is greater than 10,000, increasing to a maximum of 45% where this exceeds 18,000. Support is awarded where a Church Development Plan relates to ministry to a high population area and is agreed through discussion with the parish.
Our Stewardship Mission Enabler, Rev David Senior, has resources and advice to help with a stewardship programme.