Different ways of giving and how to make your donations go further
We have a variety of sources of income that go towards the ongoing costs and maintenance of running St Paul’s church and parish centre. We also use our funds to support various charities, currently giving around €16,000 annually to up to 20 organisations.
Stewardship is our most important source of income, which is essentially donations from our parishioners. Historically, the way most people have donated is through a weekly envelope scheme, with those offerings put on a collection plate during Sunday services. We are gradually transitioning from this to standing orders and have recently also introduced an alternative, online way to make a once-off, or regular, offering through clicking a “Donate” button on our weekly newsletter or on the home page of our website.
One big advantage of recorded giving, through envelopes, bank transfers or card payments, is that if your donations amount to more than €250 over a year (which is just under €5 a week), the parish can claim a tax rebate if you are a tax payer. We identify all the qualifying donations, i.e. those over €250, and then ask these donors to fill in a CHY3 certificate. This gives us your name, address, PPSN, and allows us to claim the tax relief for up to five years.
Revenue compare our list of donors with their own records of taxpayers whose tax returns have been finalised and they transfer the corresponding tax relief to our bank account. Tax relief is based solely on the amount of your donation. It is calculated as 44.92 per cent of the donation, regardless of what level you are taxed at, so this is a way of significantly increasing the value of your giving without any extra cost to yourself.
The parish centre, which hosts a range of activities, is an important source of income for the church. In 2019, for instance, the centre had more than 60 different groups renting space there for various uses, including ballet, music lessons, bridge, yoga, art, and many other activities.
The annual Summer Fair is also a significant contributor to the Church’s income. Parish income dropped sharply during the coronavirus pandemic, so, with many fixed running costs to meet, our financial situation has deteriorated, despite the stewardship of parishioners holding up well. Restrictions forcing the closure of both St Paul’s for in-church worship and the parish centre for much of 2020 and the first half of 2021, meant there have been very few collections at services and minimal fees from centre users. The Summer Fairs for both 2020 and 2021 were also cancelled but is back for 2022.