St Clare's News Edition 3

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MONEY FOR OLD ROPE

Fr LoughranRecently a colleague of mine committed a faux pas. Apparently he was hoping to increase the parish offertory and made noises in that direction to his congregation. But the deacon took him to task! A credit crunch, when everyone is worried about their finances is no time to be asking people to contribute more to the parish coffers.  In any case, it has always been my experience that responsible parishioners review their giving fairly regularly and adjust accordingly. 

However, I'm with Aladdin! Something for nothing - new lamps for old, and who's the genie? HM Treasury. What am I bleating on about? GIFT AID! It really is money for old rope. 

What we would love to do is to maximize the potential of the Gift Aid Scheme which the Chancellor of the Exchequer has greatly simplified in recent years. What it means is that if you are a tax payer each £1 you put in the collection is potentially worth £1.28. Our Diocese is a Registered Charity and therefore, the Treasury will refund 28p of your tax for every £1 you put in the collection if you sign a Gift Aid Form. Of course, all this has to be verifiable and so those who sign a Gift Aid Form will be asked either to give their offertory using the Parish Envelopes or by a Standing Order. Last year 92 parishioners were in the scheme and the tax reclaimed was £7,100!

So, if you pay tax, and simply put your offertory directly into the basket, the parish looses out on what is potentially a big sum. But if, as a tax payer, you join the Gift Aid Scheme the offertory collections will increase without extra money being put into the basket. And Gift Aid can only be reclaimed on what you actually give. So, if for some reason you have to reduce or even stop your offertory giving, the reclaim automatically ceases.  Please give this scheme careful consideration. There are Gift Aid Scheme Forms in the church porch. For more information please speak with Fr Loughran. It really is Money for old Rope!