Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Church of England reports first drop in regular giving

The value of direct debts and standing orders received by Church of England parishes has fallen for the first time since records began.

The amount of regular giving declined by £1.35 million - or 0.4 per cent - between 2015 and 2016, from £337.5 million to £336.15 million, leaders meeting in York have been told.

Addressing members of the Church's governing body, General Synod, the chair of the Archbishop Council's financial committee, John Spence, said the way younger people give to the church is changing.


During a meeting in York, he was quoted by The Times as saying: "The numbers of people in our 'planned giving' scheme have declined by 13 per cent since 2010 [but] individual commitments have grown by 27 per cent, allowing the overall sum to rise by ten per cent.

"But in 2016, for the first time, the total coming out of planned giving declined.

"Planned giving is not the way that young generations operate."

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General Synod member, Canon Jonathan Ford told Premier's Inspirational Breakfast it was unrealistic to expect younger people to be able to give as much money to the Church as previous generations have.

He explained: "We actually had a millennial [younger person] taking part in that debate who told us about the fact that she doesn't give very much because, actually, she isn't earning because she's doing all this other stuff.

"What she does do is a huge amount of voluntary work but, as soon as she does start earning, she does start giving.

"Millennials not giving [to the Church] is to do with the fact many of them coming out of university in debt and then they get internship jobs which are little more than sandwiches and soup - in terms of payment - and they probably have to do five or six before they actually get a job.

Records for regular giving have been kept since 1990.

Click here to listen to Premier's John Pantry and Rosie Wright speaking with Canon Jonathan Ford:

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