Diocese of Carlisle

Stewardship Lite

Annual Giving Review

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” (Romans 12:13)

Why do an Annual Giving Review?

Generosity and gratitude are both part of discipleship. Saint Paul made it clear to the Roman church that sharing resources with the Lord’s people in need and practicing hospitality were vital. Today’s church is called to do this too, and congregations and communities do show generosity. It is easy, though, for us to lose our focus.

An Annual Giving Review helps maintain the focus and can aid a financial health check for the church as it seeks to carry out God's mission amongst the community in which it is situated.

A stewardship programme might be advisable (see our Generosity Week page) and can inspire and invigorate church members and friends to commit to supporting their church. It is worthwhile doing, but it takes time and effort. Some churches might find an Annual Giving Review takes less time to prepare and can keep the subject fresh in the church’s mind, until it is time for another stewardship programme.

How to do an Annual Giving Review?

  • Let us know that you are considering conducting an Annual Giving Review by emailing stewardship@carlislediocese.org.uk. We would be happy to support you in any way we can. We could have an initial conversation with you, work directly with the PCC to help make the Annual Giving Review happen, guiding you towards the most appropriate resources and helping you to prepare them.
  • Take a look at the resources below which are designed to make the Annual Giving Review an easy and smooth process for you.
  • Gather a small group around you to make the Annual Giving Review happen.

What are the resources?

Reaching your church community

Even if your church is small, it’s important to remember that your regular worshippers are likely to be your most committed givers and should be kept well informed regarding the financial position and needs of the church.

The three resources below are designed to be used as templates for your annual giving review. We recommend sending all three out together.

Keeping the congregation informed

Introducing the annual review and inviting people to consider their giving:

We are living in uncertain times, and it is easy to despair. As Christians, we know the antidote to that – the Hope that is given by God. Communicating that hope, and encouraging the congregation to share that hope, takes resources. In between full stewardship programmes it is important to remind people of this and to keep the subject fresh.

This letter will help you as you seek to communicate that with them.

Interim Stewardship – Letter to Congregation

A personalised Annual Giving Review Trifold Leaflet

This leaflet shows what you have been doing as a church and the difference you have made to your community, what your plans are for future mission, ministry and maintenance, what costs are involved and a request that people help with those costs.

If you complete the  online form we can tailor the leaflet to make it personal to your church. If you have a picture of your church building, or of its celebrated features and, perhaps, a photograph to illustrate the work you do, please send these to stewardship@carlislediocese.org.uk and we will incorporate them. Please try not to use “busy” photographs and, if they include people, make sure you have their permission. We can then provide you with a soft copy of the leaflet and/or print them for you (subject to order numbers).

Demonstration Annual Giving Review

A Giving Review Response Form

The intention of this document is to make responding to your annual review as simple and easy as possible.

This form will allow your contacts to indicate their reponse, sign a gift aid declaration and complete a bank standing order and then return it to your Treasurer. If you have completed the  online form we will be able to customise this for you. Please make sure you have the treasurer’s guidance on how much of his/her personal details may be included on the form.

Demonstration Response Form

Reaching beyond perceived boundaries – friends, neighbours and the wider community

It is spiritually and financially healthy when a congregation is dedicated to resourcing its own church, but there are others who are prepared to contribute too. There are people who may not attend your church, but who nevertheless appreciate its presence. They might appreciate the architecture or realise the rich history. Maybe they want to make sure there is a church in their locality where their children will be married, and their grandchildren baptised.Whatever their reason for needing church, many are prepared to contribute. They just need to be asked!

Approaching the “regular” church neighbours and community

The church community is surrounded by a close, related community: friends and neighbours. Whilst their involvement in church might be infrequent, if it exists at all, there is still a sense of “ownership” amongst them for “their” church. This letter seeks to explore the relationship between their love for their community and the place their local church has in that and, encourages them to consider if they could give towards the churches continued work and presence in that community.

Interim Stewardship – Nearer Community

Approaching the wider community

It’s not just those that live in your community that want to support the church. Local business owners and their employees, second homeowners, tourists all have a place in the life of your church and have a stake in it being there to support them when they need it. This letter seeks to help them understand that, even with a more remote connection to your church than some, they still have a vital part to play.

Interim Stewardship - Wider Community