The support we receive from our congregation and members of the public is what keeps churches, especially a small church like ours, going. We truly appreciate any way in which you can give to St Stephens. Here are some of ways that you can donate.
DURING THE CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC:
If you are registered for the Parish Giving Scheme, your donations will continue to be made automatically.
If you usually give by using yellow envelopes or putting cash on the plate during a service, please consider setting up a standing order instead. You will probably be able to do this online.
Our Treasurer, Pam will be happy to give you more information on how to maintain your giving.
VOLUNTEERING (suspended until futher notice)
We need volunteers to help with regular activities in church - see the Volunteering section on our groups page but we also need help with occasional activities such as the annual clean up inside church and the summer gardening day in the churchyard.
EVENTS (suspended until further notice)
For all our events, we need help collecting goods, baking and making other products to sell, donating gifts for the raffles, running stalls etc.
On the day we rely on people to attend the events and spend money, buying goods and entering competitions etc. Events are our major fund raisers for St Stephen's. We need the continued generosity of people who give both time and money. Keep watching our Events pages to see what's coming up.
People often think that the Diocese provides the funding for local churches, which is not the case. In fact we have to raise all our own funding to support the work of the church in our Parish, including the cost of the Clergy.
The easiest and safest way to make regular donations to St Stephen's is through our . This is our preferred method of giving and is suitable for all, whether you are a regular church attender or not. Please see below for information about Gift Aid. Your giving is completely in your hands and you can make changes to your donations at any time.
If you are a regular worshipper at St Stephen's, we recommend you sign up for the Parish Giving Scheme, which is the simplest way to give. However, if you do not wish to use the PGS, you may place your gift on the plate during the offetory hymn. If you are a UK tax payer, please see below.
A real bonus to us is that, if you are a UK tax payer, you can ensure that your gift is enhanced by completing a Gift Aid form, which enables us to reclaim an additional 25% on top of your gift from the Inland Revenue. If you are retired, you can still use the Gift Aid scheme as long as you are still paying income tax on your pension. You just need to ensure that the amount of donations given under the Gift Aid scheme do not exceed the amount of income tax that you pay in that same year.
If you sign up for the Parish Giving Scheme, the Gift Aid declaration is on the form. If you are giving cash at the service, and wish to sign up to Gift Aid, please see Alf Taylor or any of the churchwardens for a form.
are another simple way to give, by adding a bequest to 'East Hardwick Parochial Church Council' into your will.
HOW YOUR MONEY IS USED depends partly on what you specify at the time of giving.
Money donated during the collections at services goes into our current account and is used for the weekly running of the church and all its expenses.
Other gifts can be designated as 'restricted income' and paid into our Fabric and Facilities account, which means that the money can only be used for the maintenance, repair and improvement of the church building and its facilities.
More specific restrictions can be made, eg for a specific purpose, but we prefer that you restrict it only to the 'Fabric and Facilities' of the church, which allows us to use it for the most urgent need at the time.
A Five Year Review of the buildings has been done in 2019 and significant repairs have been identified by the inspector. Gifts to the Fabric and Facilities fund are needed to help pay for maintenance that is highlighted on their report.
Last, and by no means least, we seek your support for St Stephen's in your prayers. Please pray that our church may continue to grow in numbers and in faith and that our finances may be sufficient to support all our activities in church and the local community.