‘As a form of ministry, fund-raising is as spiritual as giving a sermon, entering a time of prayer, visiting the sick, or feeding the hungry.’ (Henri Nouwen, The Spirituality of Fundraising)
To keep St James’s open, active and creative means that we need around £1.3m a year. This works out at about £3,500 per day.
We raise all this ourselves: we don’t receive any funding from the national church or government. Everything we do during the week is in the name of the church, but core to our life is our Eucharistic community, who gather at the altar on a Sunday.
Each time we gather, we affirm that all we have comes from God, so our giving is in response to all we’ve been given.
Within the c.£1.3m St James’s needs to raise annually, the congregation’s share is c.£450 000. Congregational giving, especially planned giving through Churchsuite, is a vital part of this. In 2023, the congregation’s goal is to raise c.£12 000 per month through planned giving, so that St James’s can grow and thrive.
This funding is mostly for people: covering the costs of our pastoral assistant, asylum and refugee worker, a proportion of our verger team, administrative costs, security for our outreach projects and clergy stipends. It also helps to ensure that our church building is open for worship and prayer every day, lit, staffed, safe and warm.
To find out more, please read our Congregational Giving booklet.
Autumn is a good time to reflect on and celebrate all that’s been achieved at St James’s so far this year. Financially, it has been a challenging time for everyone and St James’s is doing all we can to help the church and the community, especially people who are in urgent need. It costs £3500 per day to keep St James’s open, staffed, safe and warm every day for prayer and services, together with our arts and social outreach programmes too. Monthly congregational giving is 11% of the overall 2023 budget.
The congregation’s share of the budget goes towards supporting the cost of services, church staff (including clergy and musicians), earth justice (including the Ecozoic project), and social justice (Feast, Sunday Breakfast, the Caravan free counselling centre, and asylum seeker support).
Other St James’s departments and teams (Development, Creative, Operations) pay for themselves through activities including fundraising and income from events.
The average monthly amount for regular congregational giving is c.£12k/month. To meet our target for 2023, the congregation needs to raise £40k by the end of December. That may sound like a big amount, but every donation makes a huge difference. If the congregation raises their giving overall by £1400/month, we can meet our target. Based on the number of people who come to the Eucharist on Sundays, each person in the congregation would need to donate an average of £10 a month more. That’s £2.50 per week – for the price of a coffee we can make a huge difference together.
Everyone’s circumstances are different. Some people might be able to afford more than £10 a month. Others might be able to afford less. Any amount that is possible is deeply appreciated. Every penny goes towards making our community a place of prayer, hope, justice, and belonging. If you would like to set up a regular donation, or review your existing donation, click the Give today button. By coming together and giving as a community we can help to ensure St James is a creative, open-hearted church.
Watch Ayla’s short video on how to set up congregational giving on ChurchSuite. If you are not signed up to ChurchSuite click on the button below.
Our Food Outreach Coordinator Robin describes how giving supports St James’s social justice projects including providing over 100 hot meals to people going through homelessness, and supporting asylum seekers and refugees with no recourse to public funds.
Can you help us continue and develop this important work?