The Diocese of Rochester is a wonderfully diverse and vibrant community of faith, with each parish facing different challenges and having different needs.
Our shared Called Together vision expresses our ambition to meet these challenges as a family of faith. Supporting each other means pooling our resources and sharing costs too.
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 across the Diocese goes to help support mission and ministry across the Diocese.
Why we do this
It's biblical for a start. 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 not about paying-in to get back what you need but giving because of 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
We use an Indicative Offers system to help churches consider the contribution they will make to the Common Fund. The Indicative Offer is based on a formula which is informed by the cost of ministry and the overall funding requirement of the whole Diocese.
The aim is to apportion the contributions by parishes into the Common Fund on as fair a basis as possible. By using this system, we want to help parishes aspire to pay for the ministry and support they receive and understand what they are called to give towards.
As much as possible, we try to fund the administrative support given by the teams in the Diocesan Office through other means, so that as much of the money received from parishes goes to fund ministry and the work of the Church.
Materials to share
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 leaflet - this simple guide 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
- The Common Fund presentation - a ready-to-go presentation to help share understanding of the Common Fund with others.
- 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 2021
- Our finances - a poster offering a financial overview for 2021
The Finance Team