People often assume that the Church is very wealthy. This may be true in some Catholic countries but in the United Kingdom our parishes receive no state funding and depend entirely on parishioners’ offerings.
Also, a third of our income goes immediately to the diocese to pay for the bishops, central administration, Catholic schools and the other Catholic agencies and organisations. The remaining money is needed to pay for clergy, utility bills for the church, hall and house, repairs and maintenance, insurance and all the expenses associated with the Sacred Liturgy, Catechesis and the various parish activities.
How can I help?
Many parishioners give generously each week and we are very grateful to them. Supporting the mission of the Church, both locally and further afield, is an important aspect of Christian discipleship. Of course, no one should give more than they can afford, but we need to be realistic about our level of giving and to review this regularly. One suggestion, for example, is to give to the church the equivalent of an hour’s pay each week or perhaps 1% of their total annual income.
Offerings can be made not only in the loose plate but through the Planned Giving Scheme or by Direct Debit. Please see the parish priest or a member of the Finance Committee for more information.
As a charity, the parish can recover the income tax paid by parishioners on their donations. This is extremely important since about £10,000 can be reclaimed from the taxman each year – at no extra cost to you.
To enable us to reclaim the tax, you need only follow the simple steps below
1. You must pay income tax in the UK.
2. You must sign a Gift Aid Form (ask the parish priest or a member of the Finance Committee).
3. We must be able to verify the amount you give. That means you must give (cash or a cheque) through the envelope system or by standing order. Please see Fr Nicholas for more details of how to do this.
A Legacy to the Church
Another way of giving to the Church is under the terms of your will. It is important we plan for what we want to happen to our money and belongings after our death to ensure they go where we want. Obviously, you should first of all make sure your family and dependants are provided for. However, you may then wish to consider making a legacy to the parish (or any other charity). These gifts are not subject to Inheritance Tax. For further information about how to benefit Our Lady of Lourdes and St Michael in this way, please speak to the parish priest.