The Diocese of Rochester is a wonderfully diverse and vibrant community of faith, with each parish facing different challenges and having different needs.
We do this through The Common Fund - the common pot of money paid into by congregations across the Diocese.
Watch this short animation to find out how the money paid into by parishes goes to help support mission and ministry across the Diocese.
Why we do this
We read in the New Testament how the early Christians showed a common concern for each other, sharing out their possessions. We understand too that as churches, we are part of one body in Christ, but dependent upon each other (1 Corinthians).
The Diocese does not receive any funding from the government and contributes to the National Church, so we must raise everything we spend ourselves.
By giving into the Common Fund, we are embodying biblical principles and the generosity at the heart of the first Christian communities.
This is about a shared sense of responsibility to everyone in our Church family, so that all can flourish.
Supporting each other in this way means that every parish, no matter what their setting or financial situation, can receive the ministers and Diocesan administrative support they need in order to further the shared mission of the Church across the communities of the Diocese.
“In the climate of a cost-of-living crisis, communities such as ours have been hit terribly hard. We seek to serve as best we can by being the Gospel in action.
This is only possible because the Diocese has the bigger picture and because the Common Fund exists to support our mission and outreach."
The Rev Mandy Young, Priest-in-Charge, St Alban and St Edmund, Dartford
How it works
Each parish’s ability to contribute is different.
To help, parishes are provided with an Indicative Offer, to act as a helpful guide.
There are three elements:
- Cost of direct ministry - based on the number of full-time equivalent clergy in the parish
- A share of central costs; for 2024 this is £11.503
- A contribution to wider diocesan mission, calculated as 10% of unrestricted income
Parishes are encouraged to be realistic but generous, as every contribution makes a difference.
We want everyone to be able to understand how the Common Fund works and to have an appreciation of the costs involved in funding the mission and ministry of our Diocesan family.
Understanding is really important, as it is enables people to make informed and joyful decisions about their giving.
To help with this, the following materials are available:
The Common Fund
- The Common Fund - A quick guide - this simple guide offers a quick overview of what the Common Fund is, as well as how Parish Offers contribute to it. It is ideal to share at a PCC meeting, with a home group, or perhaps as part of a whole church discussion about financial contributions to the local church and the wider diocesan family
- Animation - Parish Share and Common Fund explained - Watch and share this animation which explains how mission and ministry across the Diocese are supported through parish contributions.
The bigger picture of our diocesan family
- Our Annual Report offers a bigger picture of what is taking place across the Diocese and how the finances support that.
- Our year in numbers - a printer-friendly poster highlighting key work and numbers for 2022
- Our finances - a poster offering a financial overview for 2022
Resources to help conversations around giving and generosity
The Giving section of our website is full of information to help parishes to have conversations around giving. From topics such as running a giving campaign, exploring online and digital giving, legacies, and other national resources.
Liz Mullins, our Generous Giving Adviser is also available and happy to support parishes with how to talk about giving and generosity in their setting. Please contact her on: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Finance Team