At the next meeting of the General Synod of the Church of England had recorded a decrease of cash amounts donated to the Church by its parishioners. The decrease in the level of donations was the first time in 50 years, according to TheTelegraph.
John Spence, the head of the Finance Committee of the archbishops said in his speech at a session of the Synod that the analytical report for the year 2016 shows the expected and spelled out in the budget the amount of donations decreased by 0.4%. So, in 2015 in the form of voluntary donations to Anglican parishes in the UK was collected in a total of 337,5 million pounds. While waiting approximately the same amount in 2016 was received 1.35 million pounds less. This decline has occurred for the first time since 1964 and is sensitive to General Church funds, writes the Week.
Donations made up about one-third of all funds raised and collected by the parishes. However, according to Spence, the total income diotseziv and parishes on their own needs as a whole grew by 1.8% due to other sources of funds. However, this income growth is not associated with the Church budget. In addition, it does not mean that the increased income of all parishes and diotseziv. There are some so-called “unprofitable”.
The reason of falling of level of donations was the fact that young people born at the end of the last Millennium is much less likely than older parishioners, donating money to the Church, that leads to a decrease in its revenue. “You have to understand, – said the head of the Finance Committee, that the 81-year-old man eight times more likely to go to Church, than 18 years”. “And it is having an impact on the financial health of individual parishes and of the Church of England as a whole. The number of people regularly donating their money decreased by 13% since 2010”.
The issue was raised for the Archbishop’s Council of the General Synod in the debate on the budget for the year 2019, in which planned revenues and expenditures in the national Church. Speaking on it, Julie Zigil, Treasurer of one of the parishes of the diocese of Oxford, said: “We must try to resolve the issue of donations, which would be acceptable and convenient for the youth component of the future of our Church; but many of them burdened with debt for their studies and full of the fears that will be unable to buy a house.”
Spence said that dioceses and individual parishes are implementing initiatives such as the remote collection and special forms of reporting on donations, addressed especially young people. He said that remote collection of worship “can be very useful for churches where there are a significant number of visitors to the Church, or those who come to a wedding or a funeral.”
Annika Matthews, a member of the Youth Council of the Church of England, in his speech at the Synod that young people often do not stay on one ward due to the fact that they have to move from one place of study or work in another, and therefore it is difficult to make regular donations. “In particular, I myself in the last few years has been in four different wards, moving every year to a new place,” she added.
“It would be good if young people would have some online ways of making even small monthly donations to their parishes, and to attend parish councils, although this may require additional efforts and investments,” concluded Matthews.