Developing a legacy policy

A simple guide for kirk sessions, with sample wording for a legacy policy churches can adapt for their own needs.

Many people will only leave a gift in their Will if they know that their church will use it for worthwhile work and projects. Having a local legacy policy in place allows Kirk Sessions to consider how they would use such a gift. This can also help to reassure those who may be considering leaving such a gift.

Kirk Sessions are therefore encouraged to agree a policy on how potential legacy income will be spent, and to communicate this to the congregation and wider community. It is advisable to discourage restricted gifts since the needs of a church will change over time.

An example legacy policy

At St Andrew's Church, we welcome all gifts in Wills, however large or small, and we promise to use your gift to make a difference in our parish. Our legacy policy is to [eg use gifts to help fund significant development projects, whether mission, staff, equipment or buildings].

Since needs change over the years, we encourage you to leave a gift in your Will for the general purposes of the congregation rather than for a restricted purpose. We will discuss possible uses of your gift with your executors when the time comes, bearing in mind your known areas of interest in the church and the church's priorities at the time.

You can be confident that your gift will be used to make a real difference to our future mission and ministry.

We will acknowledge gifts in whatever way the donor and/or his/her executors feel most appropriate. If preferred, we can make sure that gifts remain anonymous.

If you would like to talk to someone in confidence about the sorts of purposes your gift might fund, and how you would like your gift to be acknowledged, please contact:

Name: ______________________________________

Contact Details: ______________________________

If you would like to make a gift to our church in memoriam, please discuss this with us too. It can be a wonderful and appropriate way to remember a loved one.

More information

A leaflet detailing how members of your congregation can leave a legacy to your church is available in digital form.

To request the leaflet, please contact the stewardship team at