Giving to the church

The information on this page is mostly aimed at people who would like to give to St John’s Wood Church on a regular basis. To give a one-off donation, or for more information about giving, please email the Parish Office.

Shadows from the window fall across one of the church's monuments

Although the Church of England still has the pastoral responsibilities of a state church, and is actively engaged with the life of the whole community and not just with active churchgoers, it is not state-subsidised. Each parish church has to maintain its own buildings, and pay its own running costs. In addition, each parish makes a contribution to a diocesan Common Fund, which pays for the stipends and pensions of all the diocesan clergy, and serves as a means by which richer parishes can subsidise the work of those that are working in deprived parts of the diocese. This enables the parish churches of the diocese to serve all the people of London, and not just those that can afford “a vicar of their own”.

Our income stream from lettings makes a significant contribution to the upkeep and development of the buildings, but we are still wholly reliant on the congregation for the ordinary running costs of the church. There are four ways in which you can make a difference week-by-week or month-by- month. They are listed in order of helpfulness from the church’s point of view.

Ways of giving

[1] Many members of the congregation pledge a certain amount of giving, and give by monthly standing order. If you are a UK taxpayer, this giving can also be gift-aided (see below). All the necessary paperwork is obtainable from the Parish Office. Once set up, the system works automatically: there is no need for your money to be collected, counted up, and cashed each week.

[2] Other members of the congregation prefer to have something to put into the collection plate on a Sunday morning. In the envelope scheme, you make a pledge as with [1], together with the accompanying gift-aid declaration if applicable. You are then given a set of envelopes with a unique identifying number, one envelope for each week of the year. You put the money pledged (cash or cheque) into each week’s envelope, and drop it into the collection plate. The “envelope year” runs from July to June, but you can join the scheme at any point.

[3] You can put cash or cheques into the Gift Aid envelopes that are left out in the pews at all services. We are still able to recover tax on your gift, but we are unable to include your giving when we draw up our budget – because we don’t knowing it’s coming if it isn’t pledged!

[4] You can put cash or cheques directly into the collection plate.

Gift Aid
It is very important to us that as much giving as possible is gift-aided. Any UK taxpayer can use the Gift Aid scheme, which increases the value of a donation by a whole 25%. The only requirement is that you must be paying an amount of tax at least equivalent to the amount of money we will be claiming from the taxman in respect of your gift (i.e. the extra 25%). It doesn’t cost you a penny more – Gift Aid means that the Inland Revenue refunds to us the tax you already pay on that part of your income.

Who to contact

Tomas Freyman (Treasurer), and Charlotte Rothwell (Planned Giving Secretary) would be very pleased to give you further details of [1] and [2] above, and can all be reached through the Parish Office (020 7586 3864, or by email). It is a tradition that the clergy should not know too much about who is contributing how much to the running of the church, and so the administration of these schemes is wholly in the hands of lay people!

In addition to planned weekly giving, our Legacies Officer Peter Jefferys (020 7722 5017) would be very happy to talk to you about ways in which you can enable the church to benefit under your Will. He is also knowledgeable about ways in which planned giving can be made tax-efficient for US taxpayers.

Special occasions

It is also possible to sponsor the choir, or a special display of Sunday flowers, to celebrate an important occasion or the memory of a loved one. Again, someone from the Parish Office will gladly discuss this with anyone who is interested, and put you in touch with the Director of Music or the Flower Co-ordinator. You can also of course speak directly to one of the clergy, whose details are on the contact page.