The finances of the Diocese aren’t as complicated to understand as you may think. Basically there are three costs. There’s the local church costs. That’s stuff like the electricity you use, the bread and wine you need for your services, the upkeep of your building. And guess what, in the local church you’re responsible for those local costs.
Then there’s the cost of ministry. Now that doesn’t just mean paying the stipends of the vicars each month. It also means investing in the future of our ministry, training for new clergy, self-supporting clergy and stipendiary clergy, and lay ministries of all kinds. That cost is shared. And when we talk about Share, that’s actually what we’re talking about. Virtually every penny that’s given in Share is then shared out so that we can make sure there’s going to be ministers in the future and the ministers we have are shared out across the diocese. It’s not just a matter of only the wealthiest parishes get a vicar.
The third area of cost is the central costs at the diocese. That’s stuff like a legal department a communications department. Any large organisation needs some sort of central administration. Actually the Share doesn’t pay for that. Most of the cost of that comes from other income that we as a diocese receive.
So when we talk about the Share let’s be clear what we’re talking about. We’re talking about the cost of ministry for our diocese right across east London and Essex. And what I like about this Share system that we’re introducing is – well first of all I understand it. It’s clear, it’s simple, it’s communicable and it’s based upon principles of generosity and mutual support.
We hope that through this new Share scheme not only will we be able to pay for the ministry we need now and into the future, but that also by being realistic and generous about what we need and how much we can contribute, we will grow the Church.
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