Recently, a member of our PCC was asked how much it costs to become a member of the church. Well, after the initial shock had worn off, we realised that this was probably not such a stupid question after all.
In old testament times, it was traditional to tithe 10% of your income to the church. Whilst most churches today would love to have that sort of income and will often hold this up as an ideal, it is not expected, especially in the Church of England. No, the CofE is far more interested in you giving your soul to the Lord Jesus Christ than in your money. Whilst the views of different individuals may vary, the CofE has a general principle of please give what you are able to and comfortable with. Having said this, if you take a look at the Mission Support page, you will see there that St. Andrew's itself does tithe 10% of whatever income it receives to the supported missions each year.
At St. Andrew's we do not normally even take a collection, instead, we have an offering plate by the door in which people can place their offerings when they arrive. In addition to this, many of us give one off or regular donations to the church through a standing order. (Please click here to complete and print out the appropriate form for this if you wish to make donations this way. You can also complete a Gift Aid declaration to enable the church to reclaim tax on your gifts.) As an alternative method, the church can also supply weekly envelopes for your offering. If you would like to take advantage of that method of giving instead then please supply your name and address to our treasurer and he will arrange the envelopes for you.
For those who would like to give a little more then there is a diocesan initiative that we strongly support which has recently agreed to come to our assistance when we started looking at making some repairs and alterations to our own church centre. The Fund for Church Growth supports a wide variety of projects in the Bath and Wells Diocese that help to develop and grow Christian witness within churches and the wider community. The Fund is a specific response by the Diocese to help church groups reach out and share God's love with those around them in very practical ways. It encourages churches to take on new challenges and help build caring and mutually supporting communities. Often the Fund can only provide part of the money for a particular project; however an FCG grant can help 'unlock' other grants making the key difference to whether a project is able to move forward or not. If you are interested in making either a one off donation or a regular one to this particular cause then please visit their website for more details.