You may be surprised to find that you are never asked to give a donation when you visit St Thomas' Church. A plate or a bag does not pass from hand to hand during one of the hymns, instead a plate is left by the door as you come in for you to put in whatever amount you feel comfortable with. Many of the congregation choose to give through a standing order at their bank and others plan their giving by using dated envelopes each week. The important thing is that we give to God a portion of what we receive, in recognition of His goodness to us.
How much should I give?
You can find lots of verses about giving. This is the crucial one for me:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
First, consider how much to give, and remember this is an offering not a collection. The different words are important because the word collection is associated with something that is compulsory, like taxes or a payment fee, whereas offering is a gift from the heart, freely expressed to bless God. The amount should be generous but also manageable. God does not want any resentment in our giving.
Second, give regularly. There are several ways to help you do this, see below.
May we each give from a heart full of thanks to God for His provision and reflect his generosity in our giving.
Parish Giving Scheme This is a relatively new scheme that has two benefits. 1) Gift Aid* (if you are a tax payer) is claimed every month and paid into our account. 2) Once a year you are asked if you want to increase your gift by the rate of inflation. This is the preferred way of giving if you are a tax payer. Find out more about the Parish Giving Scheme here, or telephone 0333 002 1260 to register.
Standing Order A regular gift can easily be arranged through your bank, weekly or monthly, whichever is most convenient. If you have online banking it can be set up online. Good to use if you are a tax payer*.
Dated Envelopes Kate Richards can supply you with a pack of weekly dated envelopes for a year. They are useful if your income is in cash as the money can be put in the envelope as soon as you get it, then given the next time you are in church. Gift Aid is claimed through a special scheme if the amount in each envelope is £30 or less
Offering plate There is a plate by the entrance of the church where you can place cash. Visitors are under no compulsion to give unless they wish to do so.
On some occasions it is possible to give by bank card.
Bank Transfer If you bank online you can make a one-off gift to our account, details below.
Giving in memory or to mark a special occasion
If you wish to give to the flower fund in memory of a loved one or to commemorate an anniversary, contact Margaret Nichols on 01743 861088.
If you are making a donation to the building fund or for a special occasion, please place your gift in a clearly marked envelope.
Bank details: Acc. name: Hanwood PCC; Acc. #: 05611822; Acc. Code: 55-50-05
Please make cheques payable to Hanwood PCC
*A note about Gift Aid. If you are a tax payer the Inland Revenue will refund the tax paid on your gift. So if you give £10, we receive £2.50 in addition, at no cost to you. The total value of your refund in a year must not exceed the amount of tax you have paid. Typically this is fine for a normal salary, but would not work on a limited income.
Kate Richards will give you the necessary declaration to sign if you can join the Gift Aid scheme.
TO MAKE PROVISION FOR A LEGACY see this page here.
This is a scheme whereby thousands of companies will donate a small percentage of your purchase price when you buy online. More information here.