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Diocesan Policies and Guidelines

The Finances of the Diocese

1  Management

(a) By §44 of the Diocesan Constitution, the members of the Diocesan Synod are the members ('shareholders') of the Diocesan Board of Finance (DBF).  The annual general meeting is held during the meeting of the Synod.

(b) The directors of the DBF (i.e., all members of the Bishop's Council) are legally responsible for its work.  They meet at least twice a year and are responsible for drawing up the annual budget of income and expenditure for the work of the Diocese.

(c) The detailed financial affairs of the Diocese are managed by a group elected by the Diocesan Synod as the Finance and Property Committee (FPC).

(d) Day-to-day administration is in the hands of the diocesan secretary, who is available to help chaplaincies with their financial affairs.  He also visits archdeaconry and deanery synods to speak on the finances of the Diocese.

2  The Funds that pay for the work of the Diocese

(a) The Church Commissioners provide the stipend, housing and expenses (including staff and office expenses) of the Bishop, and the stipend, secretarial and office expenses of the suffragan bishop.

(b) Investments, deriving from the historic assets of the Diocese, generate income which help to cover the costs of paying the diocesan staff and running the diocesan office.

(c) The Church of England Pensions Board provides pensions for the past service of our chaplains through the 'Funded Pensions Scheme', together with help for retirement housing.

(d) The Common Fund (see below) is used in two main ways:

  • It meets diocesan contribution towards the central costs of the Church of England.  Approximately half of this is used for the training of the future clergy of the church.
  • Most of the remainder of the Common Fund is given back as grants to archdeaconries and chaplaincies, funding towards the director of ministry and other direct and indirect support.
  • Donations and Legacies – including those to specific funds described below.

3  The Common Fund

(a) As explained above, the maintenance and growth of the Church's work in the archdeaconries, the Diocese and the whole Church of England depends on contributions made by each chaplaincy to the Common Fund.  Each year the Diocesan Board of Finance apportions the total sum needed between the chaplaincies in the fairest way possible.

(b) Details of the system used for this apportionment, and other information about the Common Fund are available from the Finance Secretary.

4  The Diocesan Development Fund

(a) The Fund was launched by the then diocesan Bishop in May 1991 to mark the 150th anniversary of the foundation of the Diocese of Gibraltar.  In its first five years almost a third of a million pounds was raised, much of it as a capital endowment.  Its primary purpose is to enable new chaplaincies to be established.

(b) Chaplaincies are asked to consider making an annual donation to the Fund as part of their missionary giving.  Individuals who are able to do so are asked to consider the Gift Aid Scheme (see below).

(c) Finance Secretary will provide information about grants that have been made, and give details of the best ways to support the future work of the Diocese in these developing areas.

5  The Diocesan Ordination Fund

(a) The training costs of those preparing for ministry are normally met from the central funds of the Church of England.  The Diocese is responsible both for any expenses before selection and for underwriting the living costs of all married students and a portion of those for single students, during their training.

(b) Some chaplaincies are able to support particular candidates in training, but the main sources of support are the central funds of the Church of England and the Diocesan Ordination Fund.

(c) All chaplaincies are asked to consider making an annual donation to the Fund, either from their planned giving or by a special collection.

6  Collections at Episcopal Services

Cash received in collections at ordinations and confirmations, at licensings, (including those conducted on the Bishop's behalf by an Assistant Bishop, archdeacon or another priest) and Episcopal visits is wholly to support the Ordination Candidates Fund.  (Note: this does not include money given through an 'envelope scheme' which is part of the regular income of the chaplaincy.)

The amount given should be transmitted to the Finance Secretary at the Diocesan Office as soon as possible after the service by one of the following methods:

  • by a sterling chequepayable to 'The Diocese in Europe Fund';
  • through a local bank direct to —
    The Diocese in Europe Fund
    Barclays Bank plc,
    Media
    27 Soho Square
    London, W1D 3QR

    Bank sort code:  20-06-05;  Account number:  40317039
  • by instruction to the Finance Secretary to make a transfer from the chaplaincy's sterling account with the Diocese.

7  Annual Chaplaincy Accounts

(a) A copy of the 'independently examined' (or 'audited') annual accounts of each chaplaincy must be sent to the Finance Secretary as soon as they have been adopted by the annual chaplaincy meeting, and not later than the 31st May each year.

(b) In addition a completed copy of the Standard Account form (provided each year from the Diocesan Office) should be returned not later than the 30th June each year.

8  Fees

(a) It is the responsibility of each archdeacon, in consultation with the archdeaconry or deanery synod, to determine appropriate levels of fees for marriages and funerals in each archdeaconry.

(b) The Table of Fees published annually by the Church Commissioners may be useful in making this decision.

9  Wills and Bequests

Those wishing to make bequests to the Diocese or a particular chaplaincy are encouraged to use the form of words obtainable from the Diocesan Office.  This wording may need to be modified by local legal requirements.

10  Financial Trusts

(a) It is important that proper legal advice be taken before any financial trust is set up.  In many cases it will be preferable, not least because it saves legal and accountancy fees, that the trust be set up under UK law with the Diocesan Board of Finance as the Custodian Trustee and the particular chaplaincy or cause as the beneficiary.

(b) All trust deeds should, for safety's sake, include a provision that, in the event of the dissolution of the chaplaincy, the property is to be used for the work of the Anglican Diocese in Europe (or, if national law requires, the Anglican Church in that country) as the Bishop of the Diocese directs.

11  Christian stewardship

(a) The Archbishops' Council of the Church of England through its stewardship adviser, promotes coordination, mutual support and interchange of ideas among Christian stewardship organizations of the dioceses.  It has produced a range of booklets and leaflets dealing with Christian stewardship.  Details of publications can be obtained from Church House Bookshop, Great Smith Street, London, SW1P 3BN.

(b) In recent years the Archbishops' Council has suggested a standard giving of 5% of income by every member of the congregation to the work of the Church (i.e. the Diocese or chaplaincy).  This has been endorsed by the General Synod, and is commended by the Diocesan Board of Finance.

12  Gift Aid

(a) Members of chaplaincies who are liable for UK tax (Income or Capital Gains) are encouraged to make their contributions to the chaplaincy using the Gift Aid scheme.  This increases the value of the donations by the amount of tax payable.  Gifts can be made on a one-off basis, (subject to a diocesan minimum amount) at irregular intervals or by regular pledging.

(b) Arrangements are made through The Diocese in Europe Board of Finance which is a UK registered charity.  Both the donation and the tax recovered are credited in full to the individual chaplaincy.  However, all such donations must come through the diocesan office in London.

(c) The Finance Secretary can give further advice, information and help, and will supply the necessary forms on request.

(d) It is possible to recover tax on any donations made by UK tax payers but it is important to remember that the donor must have paid sufficient tax in any one tax year to cover the recoverable tax.

(e) Citizens of the USA can obtain US Tax Relief on donations to a chaplaincy if they are made through —

The Treasurer

Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society

Episcopal Church in the United States of America

815 Second Avenue

New York NY 10017-4594, USA.

These donations should be clearly marked for the chaplaincy concerned.

Chaplaincy treasurers or representatives of the local Council of Churches will be able to provide information on local charitable tax relief for members of the chaplaincy who pay local taxes.