Congregational Contributions: Giving to Grow regulations
A pdf version of these regulations is available for anyone who would like to download or print them.
- All Congregations (with a registered charity number) within a Charge, with the exception of single Congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships and Congregations within the Presbytery of International Charges, are required to make a Contribution in terms of these Regulations. For the avoidance of doubt, single Congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships are required to make an equivalent Contribution in terms of Regulations I 2007. Congregations within the Presbytery of International Charges are required to contribute in terms of Regulations V 2016.
- Each Congregation shall pay its required Contribution in ten or twelve equal monthly instalments during the financial year by bank standing order, unless permission is granted annually by Presbytery to allow payments to be made under some other arrangement. The Presbytery shall advise the Stewardship and Finance Department annually by Extract Minute of any such individual arrangements.
- It shall be the responsibility of the Financial Board of each Congregation to inform the members of the Congregation of the required Contribution and the ways in which this Contribution enables the worship, mission and service of the Church.
- Contributions shall be credited to the Church of Scotland General Fund. Any shortfalls in Contributions shall be borne by that Fund.
- The Stewardship and Finance Department shall inform each Presbytery, on a monthly basis, of shortfalls in Contributions from Congregations within their bounds. They will also inform them of shortfalls, where applicable, in respect of reimbursement by Congregations of locum and ministers' travelling expenses, both for the latest financial year and any accumulated totals for previous years. Each Presbytery shall record all such shortfalls annually in the Minutes of the Presbytery and shall consult with the office-bearers of the Congregations concerned.
Process of determining Contributions
- To facilitate the process of calculating the required Contribution for each Congregation, Financial Boards shall be required to submit annually by 31 March to the Stewardship and Finance Department a copy of their Congregational Accounts for the previous financial year. Where the accounts of a Congregation have not been received by 30 June the Department shall be entitled to make an estimate of the income.
- Where accounts are subsequently received this estimate will only be amended if materially different, as determined by the General Treasurer. Only the Contribution for the current year and subsequent years shall be amended.
- The Stewardship and Finance Department shall provide to each Presbytery by 30 September each year a list of the proposed Contributions for Congregations within a Charge and the Income Base of each Charge within the bounds of that Presbytery for the following financial year.
- By 15 November each year, each Presbytery shall (1) notify Congregations within their bounds, with the exception of single Congregation Local Ecumenical Partnerships, of their proposed Contributions for the following financial year; and (2) communicate this information by Extract Minute to the Stewardship and Finance Department.
- Where a Congregation has shortfalls in the current year and previous years, any payment made will be allocated against the oldest debt first.
- The Stewardship and Finance Department shall issue to Congregational Treasurers by 31 December each year confirmation of the required Contributions for the following financial year.
Income Base Assessment
- The required Contribution shall be calculated, based on each Charge's Income Base and the total Cost as defined below of all Minister(s) of Word and Sacrament allocated to that Charge. The "Cost of a Minister of Word and Sacrament" is the total of the gross salary at the maximum of the stipend scale, employer's national insurance contribution, employer's pension contribution, death in service benefit cost and cost of income protection. The Income Base is the sum of the assessable income of all of the Congregations within that Charge. The Stewardship and Finance Department shall determine and report annually the "Cost of a Minister of Word and Sacrament".
- In determining Assessable Income for each Congregation, all of the following shall be included:
a) General Fund income;
b) Income specifically received to meet the cost of ministries (including, but not exclusively, glebe rents, Consolidated Stipend Fund income and local endowment income);
c) Fabric Fund and Reserve Fund income (including income in Fabric Funds held by the General Trustees);
d) Half of all gross income in excess of £10,000 received from outside agencies for the use of premises;
e) Income from a Local Mission Church for which the Charge has responsibility;
f) Wedding and funeral income (as disclosed as donations in the annual accounts);
g) Any other income which is available to meet the normal purposes of a parish church (which includes income held in restricted and designated funds);
h) Net income raised through giving online or through other digital means;
i) Net property rental income (including, but not exclusively, locally held manse, shop and garage);
j) Net café and charity shop income (which shall be understood as those funds which are transferred to the General Fund of the congregation);
k) Net income from telephone masts, electric vehicle charging points, renewable energy sources and all other similar commercial income;
l) Net visitor income to the congregations from historic buildings which are open to the public;
m) In respect only of items (h) – (l) inclusive, expenditure incurred wholly in the provision of the service generating the income may be deducted from gross income calculated from the sources in the preceding section. All expenditure must be disclosed in the annual accounts as relating to the income and be separately identifiable from other similar expenditure.
- For the avoidance of doubt the following items (which, if applicable, must be disclosed in the accounts and separately identifiable) shall be excluded from the Income Base:
b) Proceeds from the sale of property or investments;
c) Special collections for other charities;
d) Grant income;
e) Restricted income which cannot be used for normal purposes of a parish church, including funds raised specifically for building projects that fall out with normal fabric works and those raised for local mission posts and associated local mission programmes subject to 14 (f).
(f) Funds raised exclusively for local mission posts and associated local mission programmes, provided that Ministry Here as defined under paragraph 16 (a) is met and that year on year the congregation maintains payment of their Ministry Elsewhere and Shared Activities contributions as defined under paragraphs 16 (b) and 16 (c) respectively.
- Where the Income Base has been incorrectly calculated due to the Congregational Accounts not being fully compliant with the Regulations for Congregational Finance (Regs II 2016), only the income of the current year and previous year will be corrected, if material, as determined by the General Treasurer.
Calculation of the Giving to Grow Components
- The Contribution calculated for each Charge is the sum of the following three components:
a) Ministry Here: 50% of the Charge's Income Base, but not exceeding the Cost of the Minister(s) of Word and Sacrament allocated to that Charge. This allocation shall be based on the number of full-time equivalent posts of Minister(s) of Word and Sacrament allocated to that Charge as at 31 August in the year of calculation.
b) Ministry Elsewhere: 35% of the income which is over and above twice the Cost of the Minister(s) of Word and Sacrament allocated to that Charge as at 31 August in the year of calculation. This component shall not exceed 1.5 times the Cost of the Minister(s) of Word and Sacrament allocated to that Charge.
c) Shared Activities: 10% of the Charge's Income Base.
- The total Contribution for the Charge shall be apportioned among each Congregation in the Charge on a pro-rata income basis, that is in proportion to the contribution of income each congregation makes to the total income of the Charge.
- All income received from the Consolidated Stipend Fund or Glebe Rent Shall be deducted from the Congregation's Contribution.
- If the Congregation's Contribution is calculated to be less than its stipend endowment income, the required Contribution shall be increased to equal the amount of the stipend endowment income.
- The Governance Group of the Assembly Trustees shall appoint a Panel to adjudicate on any appeals from Congregations relating to the application of paragraphs 13 and 14 above. Appeals on any other grounds shall not be permitted. (Full details of the appeals process are available from the Church of Scotland website.)
- The sum total of increases in Contributions for Congregations within a Presbytery between the last year of the previous Contribution system (2022) and that current year's requirement, will be made available as Transition Funding to Presbytery. This will be communicated when the list of proposed Contributions is issued to Presbytery. This funding will available annually, for the first three years (i.e. in the years 2023 – 2025) of this Giving to Grow contribution system.
- This transition funding may be used by the Presbytery to reduce the proposed Contributions for individual Congregations before these are finalised for the following year. This will be charged to the Church of Scotland General Fund.
- Presbyteries may increase the proposed Contributions for individual Congregations where they deem that there is considerable potential for increased giving by completing a ‘Giving Agreement' with the trustees of the Congregation which will indicate the agreed Contributions for the following financial year. As per paragraph 9, Presbyteries shall communicate by Extract Minute the required Contributions for Congregations within their bounds subject to application of a Giving Agreement for the following financial year to the Stewardship and Finance Department not later than 15 November each year. Any agreed increase in the proposed Contribution can be used either by Presbytery or Nationally to fund initiatives, as determined by the congregation entering into the Agreement.
- Agreed Additional Giving increases to fund National initiatives will be included in the Confirmation of the required Contributions for the following financial year issued by the Stewardship and Finance Department by 31 December each year. The monies will be credited to the Church of Scotland General Fund.
- Where the Agreed Additional Giving is to fund Presbytery initiatives a separate invoice will be issued by the Presbytery concerned. The monies will be credited to Presbytery Funds.
- Where a Charge has a ministerial vacancy, an allowance within limits determined by the Faith Action Programme Leadership Team shall be given towards extra costs incurred for locum provision during the vacancy. This allowance will be deducted from the Charge's Contribution and charged to the Church of Scotland General Fund.
- Where a Charge is in Guardianship, an allowance, within limits determined by the Faith Action Programme Leadership Team, shall be given towards extra costs incurred for locum provision during the Guardianship. This allowance will be deducted from the Charge's Contribution.
- Where a Congregation undergoes a form of adjustment (e.g. union) the Contribution due will be recalculated from the effective date of the adjustment.
- Where an adjustment results in a significant reduction in Charge income, the General Treasurer may apply a decrease to the Contribution.
- These Regulations will be subject to annual review by the General Assembly, in accordance with proposals submitted by the Assembly Trustees.
a) A "Financial Board" shall mean shall mean the body responsible for managing the finances of a congregation, e.g. Kirk Session, Congregational Board, Deacons' Court, Committee of Management, etc.;
b) A "Local Mission Church" shall be a Christian community whose purpose is to worship, witness and serve in a distinct geographical setting, established in terms of the Local Mission Church Regulations (Regs II 2021);
c) A "Charge" shall have the meaning given to it in the Presbytery Mission Plan Act (Act VIII 2021);
d) "Outside agencies" shall mean those which are an independent body to the congregation and not an extension of the life of the church;
e) "Shortfalls" shall mean unpaid Contributions, including any contributions outstanding under the Ministries and Mission Contributions Regulations (Regs I 2012).