Category : Stewardship

(PRC) How Religion Intersects With Americans’ Views on the Environment

Most U.S. adults – including a solid majority of Christians and large numbers of people who identify with other religious traditions – consider the Earth sacred and believe God gave humans a duty to care for it, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.

But the survey also finds that highly religious Americans (those who say they pray each day, regularly attend religious services and consider religion very important in their lives) are far less likely than other U.S. adults to express concern about warming temperatures around the globe.

The survey reveals several reasons why religious Americans tend to be less concerned about climate change. First and foremost is politics: The main driver of U.S. public opinion about the climate is political party, not religion. Highly religious Americans are more inclined than others to identify with or lean toward the Republican Party, and Republicans tend to be much less likely than Democrats to believe that human activity (such as burning fossil fuels) is warming the Earth or to consider climate change a serious problem.

Religious Americans who express little or no concern about climate change also give a variety of other explanations for their views, including that there are much bigger problems in the world today, that God is in control of the climate, and that they do not believe the climate actually is changing. In addition, many religious Americans voice concerns about the potential consequences of environmental regulations, such as a loss of individual freedoms, fewer jobs or higher energy prices.

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Posted in Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship

(BBC) York Minster plan for solar panels as energy bills triple

Solar panels could be installed on the roof of York Minster for the first time in a bid to tackle rising energy bills.

The cathedral’s gas and electricity costs are expected to triple next year, a Minster spokesperson said.

Plans to install 199 solar panels on the roof of the South Quire Aisle have been submitted to York Council.

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell said the Minster was “committed to taking a lead on addressing the climate emergency.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Church Times) Archbishops’ Council pledges £2 million to house vulnerable people

The Archbishops’ Council has pledged £2 million of its £25-million Social Impact Investment Programme to a fund that delivers supported accommodation across the UK, it was announced on Tuesday.

The second Social and Sustainable Housing Fund (SASH II), which is managed by Social and Sustainable Capital, allows charities and organisations to acquire and own portfolios of property to provide high-quality housing and targeted support to vulnerable people.

A first SASH fund in 2019 deployed £64.5 million to 20 organisations. SASH II aims to pool £125 million to help more than 30 organisations purchase 1000 properties, which it says would provide homes for 10,000 people over the life of the fund, including people who are homeless or at risk of homelessness, fleeing domestic violence, experiencing mental illness or substance addiction, ex-offenders, asylum-seekers, and young people leaving care.

Current estimates suggest that as many as 200,000 people in the UK are living in temporary, transitional housing.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, England / UK, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Kendall Harmon’s Sunday Sermon–What does the Bible really say about how we are to understand and use the gift of money God has given us (Proverbs 3:5ff)

You may listen directly or download it if you prefer.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * By Kendall, * South Carolina, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance & Investing, Sermons & Teachings, Stewardship, Theology, Theology: Scripture

(BBC) Bristol warm places scheme welcomes first residents

New mothers and the elderly are among the first to take advantage of a warm spaces scheme to help people struggling to afford to heat their own homes.

Cafes, churches and libraries across Bristol are opening their doors as energy prices rise this winter.

The city council asked businesses and public buildings to join the scheme in the summer.

As well as warmth, many of the spaces are offering services like financial advice and homework support.

A cafe in the Wellspring Settlement community centre in Barton Hill is taking part in the initiative twice a week and is also providing food.

People are only asked to pay what they can afford, with the rest subsidised by the council.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England, Energy, Natural Resources, Housing/Real Estate Market, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Care, Personal Finance, Stewardship

(C of E) New £15 million fund to help churches with energy bills announced

The Energy Costs Grant will be distributed to dioceses to enable them to help Parochial Church Councils (PCCs) cover the increased cost of heating and lighting church buildings this winter.

Dioceses will also be able to use some of their fund allocation to make additional targeted hardship payments for clergy and other employed ministers to cover household bills, in particular energy costs.

The new funding comes after £3 million was made available earlier this year by the Church of England for dioceses to distribute to clergy and lay ministers facing particular hardship because of the cost of living crisis.

The Energy Costs Grant is accompanied by information aimed at helping churches to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

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Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Foreign Relations, Parish Ministry, Russia, Stewardship, Ukraine

(Barrons) Even as Altruism Grows Around the World, Charitable Giving Remains Flat

Charitable giving—including only monetary donations and the value of time donated —remained flat, at just under 3% of global GDP in 2021 despite an increase in altruistic attitudes and behaviors across the globe, according to a Citi report released Tuesday.

On average, prosocial behaviors like the acts of donating, volunteering, and helping strangers all increased by nearly 25% last year compared to pre-pandemic levels. Yet, charitable giving did not rise in most countries, and even fell in inflation-adjusted terms in some countries, according to the report, “Philanthropy and the Global Economy.”

“We were sort of hoping that after the pandemic that donations would continue in the trajectory and they really, for the most part, did not,” says Karen Kardos, head of philanthropic advisory at Citi Private Bank and a co-author of the report.

Global inflation and uncertainties in financial markets may create further headwinds for charitable giving. Globally, 55% of donors expect to give the same amount in 2022 as they did in 2021. In the U.S., the country with the most monetary donations, more than 60% of donors planned to be more cautious in 2022 as recession risks weigh on their confidence, survey data show.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Charities/Non-Profit Organizations, Economy, Globalization, Personal Finance, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Church Times) Cathedral music is facing a sustainability crisis, report warns

Cathedral music faces a serious sustainability crisis and is in danger of losing credibility with the public, unless it faces up to the challenges of widening participation and increasing affordability, a comprehensive report from the Cathedral Music Trust, published on Sunday, has concluded.

The report acknowledges that cathedral music — “one of the glories of English cultural heritage” — has an importance in British national life which goes far beyond its place in daily worship. “The UK’s flagship cathedral choirs are renowned worldwide and consistently perform to the highest standards of excellence. Cathedral music is one of the UK’s greatest and most distinctive cultural assets,” it says.

It also emphasises: “Cathedral music and particularly the service of choral evensong have seen a sustained surge in popularity even at a time of decreasing church attendance overall. Many people love cathedral music for its transcendent beauty and numinous quality, whether or not they are religiously active, and there is strong support and engagement for cathedral music from those interested in heritage, the artistic value of the music and its place in education.”

But, without compromising on excellence, it must evolve to meet the challenges of the context in which it now operates, the report concludes. Cathedral choirs are “expensive to run and difficult to manage”, it acknowledges. “There is a risk that cathedral music becomes polarised between well-endowed choral foundations with linked choir schools which produce music of the highest quality but are perceived as exclusive, and those cathedrals which recruit their choristers from local schools but struggle to find the time and money to reach similar standards of excellence.”

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church of England, Liturgy, Music, Worship, Music, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

The Latest Edition of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina Enewsletter

Walking Together With Those who Are Leaving their Property

Give to the Jerusalem Fund

In the new season that lies before us, working together as the Body of Christ calls for a new task: providing assistance in replanting the eight congregations required to leave their historic properties….

To that end we would like to raise $1,000,000 to be used exclusively for this initial work. To date, $250,000 has already been committed. We plan to raise the balance (and hopefully more) through generous individual donations from parishioners, through grant and foundation applications, through tithing from planned parish capital campaigns and through a planned Diocesan Ingathering scheduled for early in 2023.

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

Information Regarding Settlement Reached by the Historic Anglican and new TEC Dioceses of South Carolina Released

Reflecting on the agreement, Bishop Edgar said, “This settlement agreement allows us to invest our diocesan energy, time, focus, and resources in gospel ministry rather than litigation. While the losses we have experienced, including those of St. Christopher and several of our parish buildings are painful, I am grateful that the work we have done has brought an end to litigation between our dioceses. I am grateful, too, for the willingness to work to avoid further litigation that Bishop Woodliff-Stanley showed throughout this process. These hard past few months were made easier by her kind and generous willingness to compromise to reach this settlement.”

Bishop Woodliff-Stanley echoed this sentiment: “From the very beginning of this process, I have been grateful for the gracious spirit of Bishop Edgar in doing just this work with us. I am grateful for his leadership and his generosity. While each diocese has had to leave things on the table to get to this moment, and while we experience pain over losses of some of the historic churches our members hold dear, even still, we have seen the Spirit at work in drawing us toward God’s redemptive way of love at every juncture.”

While we give thanks that the legal disputes at the diocesan level are being brought to a close, we nevertheless recognize that a number of our parishes await a final resolution of their legal concerns. It is our prayer that these issues will soon come to a resolution as well as we move forward together as a diocese into this next season of ministry.

What does this next season look like? For some, it will be full of new challenges – and opportunities – as they as they learn to minister outside the walls of their beloved church buildings. For others we’ll seek to pull together as a diocese and grow in our roles as supportive brothers and sisters. For all of us we’ll continue to proclaim the Good News of Jesus Christ and pursue the work of the gospel in South Carolina and beyond out from under the shadow of litigation with a renewed focus on our mission and ministry. Therefore, let us move forward prayerfully, in thanksgiving for this Spirit-led settlement, and in hope for the work of the Gospel and continued in-breaking of the Kingdom of God.

The Rt. Revd Chip Edgar, Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
The Revd B. Tyler Prescott, President, ADOSC Standing Committee

Read it all and follow the link.

Posted in * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Pastoral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Bishops, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina, TEC Departing Parishes

(Church Times) Pros and pitfalls of Vision and Strategy discussed in C of E webinar

The Church of England, beset by fears of scarcity and chasing a vision of “something bigger and better”, should look to the experience of the Church in Iran, which has survived being stripped of everything that it possessed, the Bishop of Chelmsford, Dr Guli Francis-Dehqani, told a Church House webinar this week.

Finances and buildings were “both a huge gift to us but also a great curse; they are like nooses around our necks”, she said. “And I think if something were to happen, and they were all to be swept away, we would find at that point new life coming.”

Her comments were made during the first in a series of webinars exploring the Church’s Vision and Strategy for the 2020s: “Has strategy eaten theology for breakfast?” Introducing it, Dr Nick Shepherd, a senior vision and strategy consultant at Church House, acknowledged the existence of concerns about the salience of strategic terminology and planning (Comment, 1 July 2022).

Dr Francis-Dehqani offered episcopal solidarity with such concerns in June (News, 8 July 2022), when, in an address to her diocesan synod, she warned against “putting too much emphasis on our human powers — that if only we try hard enough and pull together well enough and all follow the same programme, then we can solve the problems and challenges and ensure the future survival of the Church, either much as it has been in the past, or preferably producing a shinier, bigger, better version.”

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Evangelism and Church Growth, Ministry of the Laity, Ministry of the Ordained, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Telegraph) Marcus Walker–The Church of England is clearly in rude health. It must recognise its strengths

The interplay of the national and the local and the strength that the Church of England still has in its atrophying muscles should be a cause of serious hope to those leading the national church. But, as Christ says, “where your treasure is, there will your heart be also,” so if we’re going to build on these strengths, we need to make a conscious decision to invest in them.

The local is our strength. Churches at the centre of their communities, priests at the centre of their churches – with the time to devote to their communities. The CofE knows this – three reports have been commissioned into why some churches grow and some shrink and all three came back with the same answer.

As one, From Anecdote to Evidence put it: “The findings show that single church units under one leader are more likely to grow than when churches are grouped together…There is a strong negative trend between the more churches amalgamated together and the likelihood of decline.”

Communities across the country are concerned that the old model of Anglican Christianity is slowly dying – and often for paltry sums of money, unable to be raised at a local level but easily available at a national level where the Church of England sits on £10 billion of assets. Where your treasure is, there will you heart be also: let’s put our money in our parishes, for that is where the real beating heart of the CofE is found. (And let’s celebrate the fact that we no longer have a recruitment crisis – we are now ordaining more new priests than we have clergy retiring or quitting early.)

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Brand New TEC Diocese Petitions South Carolina Supreme Court for a Rehearing on two parishes in the Historic Anglican Diocese of SC

(Via email–KSH)

Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

To file under “we-should’ve-seen-that-coming”…

…(On September 1, 2022)..the Episcopal Church and The Episcopal Church in South Carolina filed a Petition for Reconsideration and Rehearing with the South Carolina Supreme Court asking the Court to reverse their ruling regarding the property rights of two parishes whose rights they had affirmed in their August 17 ruling.

Those parishes are: Old St Andrew’s, Charleston, and the Church of the Holy Cross, Stateburg.

Please join me in praying the Court will deny this final effort and, once and for all, put this case to rest.

Additionally, The Church of the Good Shepherd, Charleston, whose property rights the Court denied in their August 17 ruling, filed a Petition for Rehearing asking the Court to reconsider that ruling.

We’ll pray that the Court will reverse that earlier ruling and affirm the property rights of Good Shepherd.

With me, you are likely tired of the back-and-forth and wondering if this will ever end. It will. Someday, in the not too distant future, I trust these matters will be behind us, and we will move forward—whatever the outcome—into ministry without this distraction. Until then, we do well to heed St Paul’s advice to: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, and be constant in prayer.” (Rom 12.12) Never losing sight of the fact that, “…you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” That truth can never change.

Blessings,

–The Rt Revd Chip Edgar is bishop of the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Stewardship

A Prayer to Begin the Day from Frank Colquhoun

O Lord and heavenly Father, who through thy Son our Saviour hast taught us that we cannot serve both God and mammon: Deliver us, we pray thee, from the love of money; and grant us grace to use wisely and faithfully all such possessions as thou hast entrusted to us, for the furtherance of thy kingdom, the relief of those in need, and the supply of our own necessities; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Posted in Spirituality/Prayer, Stewardship

(BBC) Portsmouth councillors spend own money on free breakfasts for children

Children will have access to free breakfasts during the summer holidays through a new initiative.

Portsmouth City councillors George and Brian Madgwick are personally donating £4,000 to fund the scheme.

The breakfasts will be held at St Michael and All Angels Church in Paulsgrove every weekend through the summer holidays.

George Madgwick said they hoped it would “ease the pressure” of the current cost of living crisis.

Read it all.

Posted in Children, Dieting/Food/Nutrition, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(BBC) Salisbury bishop marks appointment with cash giveaway

A new bishop says parishioners cheered after they were surprised with a gift of £10 each at his inauguration.

Bishop of Salisbury, the Rt Revd Stephen Lake, said it was the first time he had seen a congregation “burst out in applause”.

He said the money, given by two anonymous donators, was to show people can make the most of what they have been given.

Bishop Lake said: “It was a great start to a new ministry.”

He added: “They [the congregation] were given the £10 because we were living out the gospel, read out in the service. Taken from Luke, The Parable of the Talents, also known as The Parable of the Pound.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Church Times) Church Commissioners acknowledge that the slave trade boosted early funds

The Church Commissioners acknowledged on Thursday that their £10.1-billion fund has early links with the transatlantic slave trade. Both the Commissioners and the Archbishop of Canterbury have apologised.

The revelations come after research into Queen Anne’s Bounty, which was established in 1704 to tackle poverty among the clergy through the buying of land (from which the clergy received the income) or through an annuity stream. The Commissioners came into being in 1948 after a merger of the Bounty and the Ecclesiastical Commissioners.

The research was initiated by the Commissioners in 2019 — shortly before the death of George Floyd sparked the Black Lives Matter movement (News, 5 June 2020), and amid an international debate about monuments to people with links to the slave trade (News, 14 May 2021).

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Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Race/Race Relations, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(C of E) Sowing seeds: how a patch of wasteland became heart of community

In just a few years, a patch of once unused land in the middle of the Quarrendon estate in Aylesbury, Bucks, has been transformed into the beating heart of the community by the local church.

The once neglected scrap of land surrounding St Peter’s Church, has been turned into a multipurpose green space – simultaneously a community garden, an exercise site, a place to grow food, an outdoor classroom, and a tranquil spot in the centre of the estate.

In partnership with local organisations, St Peter’s regularly takes referrals from the local GP surgery, known as ‘social prescribing.’

It also welcomes schools, the local Adult Education Centre, and the Youth Offenders Probation Service – where young adults learn new skills in landscaping and horticulture to help get them back into employment.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Cambridge Independent) Jesus College will not pay legal costs for Rustat Memorial Group’s defence

The legal costs of the 65 alumni who successfully petitioned to keep the memorial to slave trade investor Tobias Rustat on the west wall of Jesus College chapel will not be paid by the college following a ruling by David Hodge QC of the Consistory Court of the Diocese of Ely.

Jesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith HeppellJesus College Chapel. Picture: Keith Heppell
A three-day hearing took place in February to determine whether the diocese would approve Jesus College’s request to remove the memorial to an exhibition space elsewhere on college grounds.

The hearing was overseen by David Hodge, who had been appointed as deputy chancellor to consider the college’s petition. In late March, the verdict was issued in a 108-page statement: the memorial will stay where it is. The unsuccessful case cost Jesus College £120,000.

David Hodge QC accepted, in his ruling date June 5, 2022 and made public on June 7, that it is convention for unsuccessful parties to pay the legal fees for the winning party in conventional hearings, but “that general rule does not apply in contested faculty proceedings in the consistory court,” he wrote.

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Posted in Church History, Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Race/Race Relations, Stewardship

A Local Paper Article about the recent South Carolina Supreme Court Decision

On April 20, the state’s top court ordered that 14 of the 29 congregations that split from the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina were to hand over the properties to the Episcopal Church. It appeared that the court’s decision put an end to a decadelong legal battle over the ownership of dozens of church properties valued at roughly $200 million.

But in a stunning development Tuesday, the state’s top court did not deny petitions for rehearing submitted by seven of those churches. Instead, the court requested that the Episcopal Church respond by June 20 to the arguments made by the seven parishes.

The court’s order gives hope to some of the breakaway parishes, which fall within the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina umbrella, that they could, in fact, retain their valuable religious facilities.

“We are encouraged by the recent development from the South Carolina Supreme Court and are buoyed by the hope that seven more of our parishes might keep their properties,” said Bishop Chip Edgar of the Anglican Diocese. “But in all these legal matters, we are keeping our eyes focused on our Lord Jesus and the work he has called us to — to glorify God in worship and in our lives, to proclaim his name, to build up the church, and to love our neighbors as Christ loves us.”

Read it all.

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Church History, Ethics / Moral Theology, History, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, TEC Conflicts, TEC Conflicts: South Carolina

SC Supreme Court Moves Petitions for Rehearing Forward for 7 of 8 parishes

From there:

Columbia, S.C. (June 8, 2022) – Yesterday, in welcome news for the Anglican Diocese of South Carolina, the South Carolina Supreme Court released an order concerning the eight petitions for rehearing filed by parishes of the Diocese. For seven of those congregations, the court requested that the Episcopal Church (TEC) and the Episcopal Church in South Carolina (TECSC) submit a return by June 20 responding to the arguments made by the seven parishes. The issues TEC and TECSC must address are: 1) the effect of subsection 62-7-602(a) of the South Carolina Code making all trusts created after Jan. 1, 2006 revocable, and 2) the argument that no trust was created by accession language incorporated in governing documents prior to 1979. Based on the April 20 ruling, these parishes maintain they did not create a trust interest in favor of TEC or TECSC and therefore, should retain ownership of their properties.

The parishes whose petitions for rehearing are included in the Court’s request are: the Church of the Holy Cross (Stateburg), the Church of the Good Shepherd (Charleston), the Church of the Holy Comforter (Sumter), St. Jude’s Church (Walterboro), Old St. Andrew’s (Charleston), St. Luke’s Church (Hilton Head) and Trinity Church (Myrtle Beach). The petition for Christ Church (Mt. Pleasant) was denied in its entirety. The people of the Diocese are encouraged to keep these parishes, the Supreme Court and its continued deliberations in their prayers.

In Christ’s Service,

The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis
The Anglican Diocese of South Carolina
Anglican Church in North America

Posted in * Anglican - Episcopal, * South Carolina, Ethics / Moral Theology, Law & Legal Issues, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, State Government, Stewardship

Cathedrals can light the way to Net Zero says Bishop Usher

Addressing the National Cathedrals Conference in Newcastle, Graham Usher, who is Bishop of Norwich, said that cathedrals can show the way in making changes for achieving Net Zero carbon across the whole Church by 2030, with a route map due for a vote at General Synod in July.

Cathedrals have an impressive track record within the heritage sector, with Gloucester Cathedral becoming the first Grade 1 listed building to install photovoltaic panels in 2016.

Many others have followed suit with green adaptations including solar panels, replaced light fittings, draft exclusion and in some places re-designed precincts to give greater access to green space and a chance for biodiversity to thrive.

The host venue, Newcastle Cathedral, was praised for the installation of an air source heat pump as part of a major recent renovation.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), CoE Bishops, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

C of E national funding to increase 30% to support and develop ministry especially with young people and disadvantaged communities

The Church of England today announced plans for a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation.

The Church of England today announced plans for a significant increase in funding for the next three years to support God’s mission and ministry across the country, supporting local parishes and growing many more new worshipping communities to serve the whole nation.

The Church Commissioners for England intend to distribute £1.2 billion between 2023 and 2025, up 30% from £930 million in the current three-year period, and plan to maintain this level of funding in the subsequent six years.

In total, this would mean the Church Commissioners plan to distribute £3.6 billion to frontline work of the Church of England between 2023 and 2031, making the Church Commissioners and Archbishops’ Council among the largest grant givers in the country.

The Church Commissioners’ distributions will account for approximately 20% of Church funding, whilst the biggest contribution comes from the faithful and generous giving of churchgoers across the country.

Read it all.

Posted in Church of England (CoE), England / UK, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

C of E to provide up to £3 million to boost diocesan discretionary funds in face of rising cost of living

Decisions about the distribution of grants will be made at diocesan level but it is expected that people from the following groups will be eligible to apply:

–Stipendiary clergy, including curates
–Self-supporting ministers with a provided house (‘House-for-Duty’)
–Salaried lay workers employed by the diocese or parishes such as youth and children’s workers
–Retired clergy carrying out a specific role in support of Diocesan ministry as agreed by or at the request of a Bishop or Archdeacon

A Church of England report published last year backed targeted support for clergy facing financial challenges such as those with larger families or with no additional household income other than the stipend.

Read it all.

Posted in * Economics, Politics, Church of England (CoE), Economy, England / UK, Parish Ministry, Personal Finance & Investing, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

Archbishop Welby calls for the Government to work with faith groups to achieve net zero carbon

Read it all.

Posted in --Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, England / UK, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship

(WSJ) Investors Dial Up Pressure Over Companies’ Climate Lobbying

Many companies are still lobbying against the Paris Agreement, according to InfluenceMap, a nonprofit group that pushes for corporate action on climate. It says only 14% of 375 companies it tracks have aligned their detailed climate-policy engagement activities with the Paris Agreement.

“Corporate political engagement continues to represent one of the key barriers to delivering the Paris Agreement’s goals,” said Ed Collins, director of corporate lobbying at InfluenceMap.

Having a shared standard will make it easier for companies to show their public climate promises are serious, said Adam Matthews, chief responsible investment officer at the Church of England Pensions Board.

But companies that don’t sign up may face more shareholder pressure.

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, Ecology, Economy, Energy, Natural Resources, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Science & Technology, Stewardship, Stock Market

C of E Parishes prepare for mass ‘citizen science’ biodiversity events after huge success of last year’s Churches Count on Nature

The ‘citizen science’ event – set to run between 4-12th June – will welcome people to churchyards and encourage them to record what animals and plants they see. That data will then be collated on the biological records hub, the National Biodiversity Network.

Last year more than 540 activities and events were organised by churches across the country. People submitted 17,232 recorded pieces of data on wildlife they saw, with more than 1,500 species recorded.

This year’s event will take place during the same week as Love Your Burial Ground Week (4-12th June).

Graham Usher, the Bishop of Norwich and lead Church of England bishop for the environment, encouraged churches to start preparing.

He said: “I’m encouraging every parish to get involved with this year’s Churches Count on Nature.

“Churchyards and gardens are an incredible home of biodiversity, making up thousands of acres of green oases in every community of the country. Last year, hundreds of parishes got their local community searching for insects and plants in their open spaces.

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Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ecology, Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Religion & Culture, Stewardship

(Church Times) Strategic Development Fund opens a route to faith, says study

It is now seven years since a task group led by the finance chair of the Archbishops’ Council, John Spence, published Resourcing the Future (News, 16 January 2015), a report that proposed a “fundamental shift” in the ways money from the Church Commissioners was distributed to dioceses, warning that those currently deployed had “only a superficial link to growth and have failed the poorest communities” and that “a large amount of money is subsidising decline.”

Under the existing approach at the time, most central funds had been provided under the Darlow formula, which calculated the needs of parishes on the basis of financial need and attendance. This was replaced with the two new funding streams (News, 21 October 2016). Half of the total (£24 million per year at the outset) would be earmarked for the dioceses with the greatest concentration of low-income communities through LInC. The other half, SDF, would be made available to dioceses through grants for which they would have to bid, demonstrating that their project would result in “a significant difference to their mission and financial health”.

The new approach was introduced in 2017, to run until 2026.

The Archbishops’ Council has been challenged to conduct and publish an independent review of SDF. While some dioceses have published evaluations of their projects, including Leicester (News, 3 October 2019) and Portsmouth, many others have not. Mr Spence, who also chairs the SIB, told General Synod in 2019 that by the following year there would be enough evidence for an “objective, thor­ough, and independent review” (Features, 15 November 2019).

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Ethics / Moral Theology, Evangelism and Church Growth, Parish Ministry, Stewardship

(FT) UK stewardship code adds 74 new signatories

In 2020, the FRC substantially reformed the code, which was launched in 2010, to impose stricter reporting requirements on investors that had signed up. Since its launch, it has been replicated in other jurisdictions and broadened to include new asset classes.

Signatories have to report on their stewardship activities and are reviewed annually by the FRC to remain on the list.

“Ultimately, what we want to see are concrete examples of stewardship activities and outcomes. Otherwise, its just a bland policy statement of intentions without application,” said Claudia Chapman at the FRC.

“We’re keen to narrow the gap between what is reported and what is done, and for the most part we are comfortable that those included on the list are doing what they say.”

Read it all (registration or subscription).

Posted in Church of England (CoE), Corporations/Corporate Life, England / UK, Ethics / Moral Theology, Religion & Culture, Stewardship, Stock Market

A C of E Parish’s other flock helps it win environment award

For the past 30 years St Mary’s in Ticehurst, East Sussex, has invited the small flock – made up of six ewes and their lambs – into the churchyard for part of the year to increase biodiversity.

Penny Evans, a licensed lay reader at the parish, explained: “We now have Wiltshire Horns in the churchyard, which works very well with our churchyard conservation project.

“Wiltshire Horns do not need shearing, and so there is plenty of wool available for the birds’ nests.

“Birds even fill their boxes with cosy sheep wool. They also do an excellent job of looking after the grass in the churchyard.”

In fact, the sheep helped the church gain a Gold Eco Award from the environment charity A Rocha UK. It is only the 24th church to achieve the award.

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Posted in Animals, Church of England (CoE), Energy, Natural Resources, Parish Ministry, Stewardship