Diocesan Synod Approves Parish Share Scheme for 2023
Updated 13 June 2022.
The 11 June meeting of Chelmsford Diocesan Synod has approved the new Parish Share Scheme for 2023.
The scheme has been developed following an extensive consultation since Autumn last year. More than 500 representatives from parishes took part in Zoom meetings and online surveys in Autumn 2021 and early this year. You can read the report of the consultation here. Since then, there have been further meetings and consultation with Area Deans, Lay Chairs, Deanery Treasurers and Members of Diocesan Synod to help develop the detailed scheme.
How the new scheme will work
The new scheme will follow the hybrid model that was most popular amongst consultation participants. This means that the Diocesan Office will send parishes a share calculation as it has done previously but that parishes in deaneries will then be able to meet and choose to reapportion the amount each parish contributes between themselves, so long as the total share ask for all parishes across the deanery is met. This will provide some local agency for parishes to be able to support each other and work together, whilst ensuring that share contributions across the deanery and wider diocese are able to fund local parish ministry.
Whilst parishes that don’t want to participate in discussions with others in their deanery will be able to opt out and simply make the contributions suggested by the Diocesan Office, it is hoped that the new share scheme will help facilitate greater mutual support and cooperation at a local level.
Reflecting the feedback from the consultation, the new scheme also includes a revised way of distributing the Mutual Support Fund in recognition of different contexts. This means that parishes in areas of high economic deprivation, and those ministering to dispersed populations across large geographic areas, will be asked to contribute a lower share amount than a parish in a more affluent or smaller area with the same ministry provision.
July 2022 - Training Sessions for Deaneries
To help leaders in deaneries implement the new parish share scheme, there will be training workshops on 6 July and 13 July. These are open to Area Deans, Lay Chairs and anyone else within deaneries that Area Deans and Lay Chairs wish to invite to join them. Area Deans and Lay Chairs have been sent an invitation to these workshops.
August 2022 - Share calculations and guidelines distributed
In August each parish will be sent:
- The 2023 share calculation for their deanery with a benefice and parish breakdown. (There will also be a breakdown for other share paying units such as MMUs)
- A booklet setting out the theological underpinning of the new scheme and explaining how it has been developed through consultation, how share has been calculated, how share is used to fund local mission and ministry, how the new process works and how parishes in deaneries might work together to benefit from it. If you want to find out more about the new scheme before the booklet is published you can read the proposal in the June 2022 Diocesan Synod papers. Please note that the final scheme that Diocesan Synod approved was amended to change the 10% Mutual Support Fund contribution to 20%.
- A flyer that parishes will be able to order additional copies of for free. The flyer will help to explain the new share scheme to those in congregations and communities who give generously to the church and may be interested in understanding more about how parish ministry is supported by our parish share scheme
August 2022 - October 2022
- This will be the period in which parishes in deaneries will be able to meet and decide whether they want to reapportion the suggested share contributions between themselves. After which deaneries will confirm their parish share contributions to the Diocesan Office.
New materials will be published in August 2023 to help explain the new Parish Share scheme and how parish ministry is resourced in Chelmsford Diocese. The materials set out below may provides some useful background reading.
Parish Share Consultation 2023 Report
This document sets out the summary and direction of travel from the Parish Consultation Meetings between Autumn 2022 and January 2023
- Parish Share Consultation 2023, Summary and Direction of Travel report.
- Appendix 1, Survey of consultation meeting participants
- Appendix 2, Survey of parishes unrepresented at consultation meetings
If you want to find out more about the new scheme before the calculations and communication materials are circulated in August, you can read the Share Proposal in the June 2022 Diocesan Synod papers. Please note that the final scheme that Diocesan Synod approved was amended to change the 10% Mutual Support Fund contribution to 20%.
Resourcing Parish Ministry in Chelmsford Diocese
This booklet was issued as background reading material ahead of the Parish Share consultation meetings and explains how parish ministry is resourced in Chelmsford Diocese.
Your 2022 Parish Share Frequently Asked Questions
This booklet was distributed to parishes with the 2022 Parish Share calculations and answers some of the most frequently asked questions about the 2022 Parish Share:
1) What does my parish share pay for?
2) Why is the cost of resourcing parish ministry so much higher than the cost of a stipend (clergy pay)?
3) How have you calculated my parish share?
4) What if my parish is in vacancy and future ministry provision is not yet known?
5) How are you keeping parish share down by raising other income and scrutinising other expenditure?