Churches are missing out their share of the millions that legacy giving can bring - don't let your church be one of them
Simple steps to benefit from this resource
See how legacies from people like you can make a big difference to your local church. This inspiring video includes footage from St Luke's West Derby:
How you can benefit from legacy giving
Regular planned giving to Anglican churches outstrips giving to our biggest UK charities, but by contrast we are poor relations when it comes to receiving gifts in wills.
There is so much goodwill in our communities towards their local churches whilst congregation members may have given faithfully all their lives, yet churches are missing out on millions. A will and gifts in wills matter.
Making a will:
Making a will is a lot easier than you might think. There are helpful task lists and step-by-step guides available that will lead you through the whole process. The Church of England’s own legacies website (see the Useful resources box) is a valuable resource for individuals wanting to know how to make a will and leave a gift intheir will. The Parish Resources website offers guidance to churches that want to encourage their members to make both a will and a gift in that will.
The Book of Common Prayer urges Christian people 'to take order for the settling of their temporal estates whilst they are in health', noting that a will assists our executors and is, of course, an act of love and provision for those we love. An up-to-date will also ensures that the people and charities you want to receive a share of your estate actually do so.
Leaving a gift in our will:
A gift in our will may be the largest gift we have ever been able to make to the church that has nurtured our faith and the charities we have supported in life. Remembering your church in your will helps to ensure that the work they do continues into the future. In 2011 over half a million pounds was received by churches in our Diocese. Each gift, large and small, was important. There is no doubt that legacy gifts have helped make possible various projects that have improved and/or extended the facilities provided by our churches for their local community.
Inviting gifts in wills to your church:
Each church needs to a simple legacy strategy and some attractive resources for those thinking about leaving a legacy to their church. The Resources Team has partnered with Christian Aid to offer practical, hands on advice to deaneries and parishes in creating a simple legacy pack and exploring how to talk about gifts in wills sensitvely and confidently. Contact Steve Pierce at St James' House for more information.
Will Aid is a secular charity that co-ordinates participating solicitors (who donate their fee), who assist individuals to make or update their will and make a gift in their will to one or more of a group of specified charities that includes Christian Aid. For more information about Will Aid and participating solicitors, see the Useful links box.
Text and online giving
It is becoming more popular for family and friends to make donations to their late relative's or friend's favourite charities as a memorial gift to celebrate their life. Churches can create specific fundraising pages that may be circulated through social media websites, newspaper obituaries, or directly to their usual congregation.
Please note, it is Diocesan policy that requests for donations should never be made during funeral or burial services.