Truly, Madly, Deeply, The Joy of Money
Why this particular subject in this particular way?
Do you have a washing machine issue that comes up from time-to-time that just goes round and round and never goes anywhere. It comes to the same point as the last 150 times you spoke about it. Winchester is not alone in the financial discussions. Dioceses find their conversation collapsing into detail with discussion ending up around my church having to struggle with a bigger financial target is not fair, and anything that lowers the target is fair. We have drowned in this since we were born – there is no outcome if we do things this way.
A sense of dis-satisfaction around parish share, but wouldn’t do work on Parish Share until we’d done theology, moving to God’s purposes for us and for God’s world. To approach the patterns of Christian discipleship to enable us to grow in this area.
Beginning next month a group will commence on a new system for Parishes to be able to share mutual expectations of each other to financially support the misison. The group will be equipped with a theological understanding of generosity in light of the overflowing generosity of God. They will have your responses to the questions from yesterday looking within the bigger picture instead of starting from Parish Share perspective.
Responses gave some clear views.
- Our giving to God’s mission through the Church is more about enabling the growth of God’s Kindgom and our own growth as disciples than it is about paying for the costs of running the church? There is a false dichotomy of course, but accepted the clear conviction that God calls us to generosity to release us, to free us, 93% Synod Members and 97% Guests agree.
- It’s great if the Church can be involved in all kinds of creative mission, but frankly, money raised from parishes should go back to parishes. Answer suggests funds raised from generosity of parishes to fund areas of opportunity even if that is not the parish that gave or even no parish and 77% Synod Members and 89% of Guests agree.
- 82% Synod Members and 81% of Guests believe that those who have the most materially should seek the proportion to give more. The question doesn’t say how to be assessed.
- A church that gives a lot to fund mission in the Diocese should expect to get a lot back too. The outcome disagrees – the responsibility to others goes before yourself 90% Synod Members and 88% Guests agree.
- Those that have little should give little: 86% Synod Members and 88% Guests agree
- 78% Synod Members and 76% Synod Members want proportionality to be based on congregations rather than community – not easy to do.
Not about funding a budget but becoming most truly what God intended for you to be and releasing God’s mission for the world.
Question and Discussion
Question 4 interpretation seems to be confused. // But people said it should not be based on locality but on the congregation.
Surveys can be highly misleading in those questions – interesting to compare the answers when receiving a particular model from the group.
Whilst it needs to be thought under generosity, it also needs to be fair, transparent and easy to understand. // But the issue is a washing machine cycle, we’re on the principle of the motion. God asks you to live with less and face more than those who are not his disciples. He doesn’t say come to me and I will be fair, he says I will take up my cross.
How long will the timescale take? // An interim report in 3 months, how long then for the final motion not sure but certainly months not years.
Will you be looking at other dioceses, and if so is there one that has a good model to follow? // Done preliminary work, looked at across other dioceses and the thought which has already been done in this diocese. Not yet found a Diocese which truly, doggedly and at every step takes it out of the washing machine and makes it about faith.