As a church we are committed to supporting the wider work of God’s Church. We give away 15% of all our general fund income because we want to be generous in expressing God’s love in word and deed.
Around 50 organisations receive annual funding ranging from small grants of £125 up to funding of £3,500 per year. Organisations are usually granted assistance for a period of three years, after which the commitment is reviewed and a decision taken as to whether to continue funding and if so at what level. The decisions about funding are taken by PCC. They are helped in this task by the ma:dge group (Mission action: Do, Give, Encourage) which loooks at all the requests for funding, reviews the organisations on a 3 year rolling programme, and makes recommendations to PCC – usually around November – as to how the available money could be divided up.
With a total of up to £40,000 a year being given to various organisations, the process of allocating money can be quite complicated, and whilst there are questions and criteria which are applied in order to ensure that the money is going to be ‘well spent’, PCC also tries to ensure a balance in its giving between various categories of organisation, their main focus, and the groups they serve. The main organisation categories between which funds are shared are:
- Core Mission Partners. These are a small number of people or organisations with which we have a key intentional relationship. This relationship does not depend upon money but upon regular communication and prayer i.e. OMF, CMJ, STEP (St Albans and Harpenden Christian Education Project), The Leakes, the Downings, the Nicholls, Share Trust / Avondale, Mission without borders.
- Local Partner Organisations. Local organisations / individuals that complement our work at St Paul’s, or have a developing relationship with us e.g. Emmaus, Open Door, Urban Saints (Crusaders), Bereavement network, Credit Union, Herts University Christian Union, http://www.the267project.com/
- National Partners / Organisations. National organisations / individuals that complement our work at St Paul’s, or have a developing relationship with us e.g. Age Concern, Scripture Union, CARE for the Family, New Wine, http://www.eauk.org/ Grandmas.
- International Partners / Organisations. International organisations / individuals that complement our work at St Paul’s, or have a developing relationship with us e.g. A Rocha, CMS, TEAR Fund, Concordis, MU Literacy.
There are also funds available for ‘crisis’ funding and also sometimes for one-off grants for specific projects, which can either be dealt with during the year if necessary, or towards the end of the year when it becomes clear how much money is ‘left in the pot’ and can be given away in addition to the on-going grant aid. This extra top-up money is usually thought about in March at the end of the financial year.
‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me’
Jesus, Matthew 25:35