What constitutes our income?


If we are to be financially prudent, then what we can spend in any year depends on our income for that year.  As a small congregation in a small parish, we seek to avoid debt, aiming for a modest surplus of income over expenditure each year.  We have no overdraft facility on our church account and do not wish to establish one.

What constitutes our income?  The sum of open plate offerings, standing orders, revenue from fund-raising work, one-off donations, interest receipts and Gift Aid.


There is no single answer to the question, “How much income is ‘good’?” A tolerable minimum is “enough to meet costs”.  But we can only fund other work once our costs are met, so broadly, “more” is better than “less”.


The greater the proportion of income received via standing order, the better we can estimate future income flow and the more confidently we can plan our work in the parish.  Donations made under Gift Aid enable us to claim an extra £0.25 in every £1 from Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.  In most years the money reclaimed from HMRC is essential to our avoiding a deficit of income against expenditure.


Some funds, though part of turnover, do not feature as Church income per se in our accounts, but are still a measure of our activity as a caring community. These are the monies we collect for charities, eg Christian Aid collections, donations at the Christmas Eve carol service.


A further category, not even included in turnover in an accounting sense, yet still related to our work, are the funds donated by our community to causes which they learn about and contribute to via the church, eg Mary's Meals to build two school kitchens in Malawi and continue to support their school feeding programme (over £21,000 over four years); a project to train a midwife in Malawi (£1,000+ during 2013-14).