Welcome to the Stewardship section of our website. My name is Sophie Hodge and I am Stewardship Enabler at the Diocese. I am here to support you in all things to do with Stewardship. I hope you find this section of the website useful but let me know if you have suggestions for how we could improve it. 

If you are thinking about how stewardship might work in your church, I really encourage you to first of all get in touch with me for a chat. This won't commit you or your churches' to doing anything, but will enable you to get a good idea of what resources are available and which approaches may be most suitable for your church context. You can email me on or telephone 01768 807777.  

2 Corinthians 8:7: "But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving".


What is Stewardship?

Stewardship is a way of life, rooted in a knowledge of the extravagantly generous character of God.

Stewardship calls us to see life itself as a gift from God. Our beautiful creation, friends, family, home, possessions, time and money are all blessings given to us by God. Stewardship also recognises that God gave us the ultimate gift in the life and death of Jesus Christ, and the gift of everlasting life.

So Stewardship is our response to God as disciples of Christ. We recognise that God has given us everything and respond by joyfully giving our whole lives back to Him: our time, our talents and our money. Through Stewardship our lives reflect the abundant generosity of our Creator.

My hope is that Stewardship will become a way of life for us all. That it will set us apart as Christians, help us develop as disciples of Christ and act as a vehicle to enable God’s mission in the world, and through His Church. I really look forward to working with many of you on that journey.

Matthew 6:21 "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

Giving for Life

Giving for Life is a set of seven important Stewardship principles, enthusiastically commended by the General Synod.

Your parish should be following all seven of these principles. If you’re not, don’t worry, contact our Stewardship Enabler, Sophie Hodge, who will be happy to provide you with some practical support to put them in place. 

Sophie Hodge can be contacted by telephone on 01768 807761 or email

You may wish to start with this Giving for Life PCC Review which will help you work through these seven principles:

Leaders guide to PCC review

PCC review


1. Preach and teach 

Although for some church leaders it can seem daunting, regularly preaching on giving in the context of discipleship is really important. It is not the preacher’s job to raise the funds for the church, but rather to nurture holistically generous disciples. For great resources to help with preaching on giving click here


2. Clearly communicate that giving to the church enables the mission and ministry that flows from it

Many givers are not aware of the impact of their giving. Inspire your church members by communicating clearly the amazing impact your church is having in the local community and beyond in the areas of mission and ministry.


 3. Hold some form of annual review of giving

Personal and church finances work on an annual basis, and so it is good to help people review their giving once a year. There are many different ways this can be done. A few great resources are below. Click here for more information. Click here to download an Example Review Letter. Click here to download a Review Brochure.


 4. Send an annual, personal ‘thank you’ to regular givers

This values givers, and provides another opportunity to show church members how their giving supports the work of the church. Please let a thank you be a thank you and don’t ask members to review or increase their giving at this point (the annual review is the best time to do this). Also try to change the wording of your thank you each year. Click here to download Giving for Life Thank You Letters.

 5. Agree a legacy policy

Legacies can be a much-needed lifeline to churches, however it’s important that PCCs and church congregations understand how legacy gifts will be spent. A legacy Policy is important to achieve this. Click here for an example legacy policy. Click here for a short video from Bishop James on legacy giving. For more information on legacies                                       click here.

 6. Claim Gift Aid regularly (including claiming on the small donations scheme)

This checklist will help you work through what’s needed to run a gift aid scheme in your church. Click here for an example Gift Aid Declaration Form. Information on claiming on the Small Donations Scheme is available here. And for more information on Gift Aid click here.  

7. Use the Parish Buying service

This enables churches to make savings by using bulk buying discounts across the Church of England. For more details click here.

Stewardship Programmes

It’s great that you are thinking about running a Stewardship Programme in your church.

As a first port of call we recommend contacting our Stewardship Enabler, Sophie Hodge, to advise you on how to make the most of your programme and which resources may be particularly useful to you.

You can contact Sophie on Sophie.hodge@carlislediocese. or telephone 01768 807777

There are a huge number of excellent Stewardship Programmes and resources available to churches. We recommend you considering two:

  1. A Simple Giving Programme – specifically designed for smaller rural/village churches.
  2. Giving in Grace – designed for medium to large churches.

"Our cheque books, bank and credit card statements are theological documents in that they reveal our hearts" Billy Graham.

Helpful Resources

Useful Forms

Standing Order form: click here

Gift Aid form: click here


To watch a short video from Bishop James on legacy giving click here.

Click here for an Example Legacy Policy.

For more information about how to promote legacy giving in your church click here.

Thank you letters

Example thank you letter: click here

Annual Review

Template letter: click here

Template Brochure: click here

Literature for Stewardship Campaigns

How to prepare a brochure guidance: click here

Template letter to congregation: click here

Example letter recently used in a Penrith Church: click here

Template brochure: click here

Preaching Resources

For preaching guidance: click here

2 Corinthians preaching notes: click here

2 Corinthians preaching reflections: click here

Luke preaching notes: click here

Luke preaching reflections: click here

Mark preaching notes: click here

Mark preaching reflections: click here

Matthew preaching notes: click here

Mathew preaching reflections: click here


Charitable Grants for Churches Guide

This helpful guide provides a comprehensive list of grants available to churches to support:

  • Conservation, preservation, heritage and restoration
  • Works to bells, organs, windows, etc.
  • Community projects and improved facilities
  • Other Christian activities

Please click here to download the guide.

The National Churches Trust – Maintenance Grants

This fund is to support:

a) Small, urgent issues to church buildings

Grants are for between £500 and £3,000. Church buildings must be listed in order to be eligible and the total project cost must be no more than £10,000. 50% of funds should already be in place before an application to the Trust is made.

For more guidance information and for an application form visit:

 Diocesan Parish Property Fund

This fund is to support:

(a) the provision and improvement but not the repair of Anglican Churches;
(b) the provision and improvement of other parochial buildings;
(c) the provision and improvement of Diocesan buildings.

Grants are available for up to £3,000, or one third of the overall cost, whichever is the less.

For more information contact Ric Jaques, Head of Finance, on 01768 807761 or email

Click here for the Parish Property Fund Grant Application Form

 Diocesan Growth Fund

This fund is to support:

(a) projects or staff whose work is designed to lead to growth.

Grants are for up to £12,000 and will usually be spread over three years. Projects working with children and young people will be prioritised. 

For more information contact Ric Jaques, Head of Finance, on 01768 807761 or email

Click here for the Diocesan Growth Fund

All Churches Trust

Grants available for a wide variety of projects including: mission and ministry, community outreach, repairs to church buildings, re-ordering and new works, bells and organs, churchyards and cemeteries etc. 

Visit: for more information. 

The Headley Trust

This fund is to support:

  • The restoration or repair work to the fabric of ancient cathedrals, parish church cathedrals and large churches of exceptional architectural merit.
  • Fabric repairs to listed medieval parish churches in sparsely populated and less prosperous rural areas in England & Wales; and the provision of toilet facilities and disabled access within these churches.

Visit: for more information. 

The Wolfson Foundation

Grants between £2,000 and £5,000 are available to support:

  • Conservation of the historic fabric of the building

Church buildings must be Grade 1 or Grade II* in order to apply.

Visit: for more information.

Jill Franklin Trust

Small grants of around £500 are available to support:

  • The restoration (not “improvement”) of churches of architectural importance (half a page in Pevsner’s Buildings). The church should be open to visitors every day, and must be Grade 1 or Grade II* listed. 

Visit: for more information.

Stewardship News Articles

National Churches Trust Grants leaflet 2019-23National Churches Trust Grants leaflet 2019-23
File size over 1MB  5369kb    File date 23 Nov 2018
Journey of Generosity TestimonyJourney of Generosity Testimony
File size  223kb    File date 22 Nov 2018
Legacy ArticleLegacy Article
File size  388kb    File date 22 Nov 2018
The Journey of GenerosityThe Journey of Generosity
File size  356kb    File date 22 Nov 2018
Phil Roberts Parish BuyingPhil Roberts Parish Buying
File size  254kb    File date 22 Nov 2018
Digital Trial ArticleDigital Trial Article
File size  286kb    File date 22 Nov 2018
Stewardship - PreachingStewardship - Preaching
File size  289kb    File date  1 Nov 2018
Stewardship - Where Do We Start?Stewardship - Where Do We Start?
File size  41kb    File date 18 Oct 2018