Neither the Church of England as a central organisation nor its individual
parish churches receive any public funds. They rely on raising funds
to pay for the upkeep of the buildings and staff stipends (salaries)
through the generosity of parishioners, largely through offertory
collections and stewardship schemes, and fund-raising activities.
The central Church organisation assesses each parish as to its ability
to pay an annual amount towards its maintenance, including the stipends
of the clergy at all levels, and what is left is used by individual
churches for their own functioning and for supporting chosen charities.
This state of affairs has been true of St James's Church from the
beginning. Although church attendance, and hence financial giving
by parishioners, was much greater in the early decades than today,
it was the church rather than local and authorities and other bodies
that funded local schools, libraries and other institutions.
The collection plate
Over the years the amount of the weekly offertory was often referred
to as being insufficient to meet local needs. In 1885 there was a
“rub with the Assessment Committee,
and many are still dissatisfied with what they consider the unfair
way in which this parish has been assessed…….. The heavy
expenses of repairing, lighting, warming and cleaning the church are
met through the offertories alone. Besides the alms for the poor and
the urgent and pressing demands for our help and charity from without,
we still need a contribution for the funds of the School.”
The General Fund was started on 1st June 1885, in accordance with
a resolution of a General Meeting of the congregation held in May.
Before that, the offertory on each Sunday was devoted to a "special
object” and the deficit for church expenses was made
up by the Hampton Court Government Grant. The new assessment absorbed
the whole grant so the offertory had to cover all church expenses.
For a long time it had been thought that more provision should be
made for the needs of the parish of Hampton Hill out
of the continually increasing funds of the vicarage of Hampton. Hampton
Hill contained nearly half the population of the old parish but had
only received twelve acres of glebe towards its endowment. On the
2nd of August 1889 a dead of transfer was completed, by which about
eighteen acres of glebe land adjoining the vicarage grounds and churchyard
were annexed to the living of Hampton Hill. It was thought
that in time this land might be required for building purposes, and
its value largely increased. The magazine of October 1889 reported:
“By this means an endowment would
be secured to the living, and it would no longer be dependent upon
the somewhat objectionable method of raising funds by pew-rents.”
Read the article Transfer
The financial situation of the church improved during the 1880s and
1890s with increased subscriptions, offertories, pew rents, funds
and so on. The parish organised sales of work, usually in the school
room, and rummage or jumble sales, with all kinds of useful odds and
ends which "sold at amazingly low
prices", with the proceeds going to the church funds.
The day school children gave an annual entertainment with the proceeds
going to the prize fund. The name 'General Fund' was changed to the
'Churchwardens' Fund' in 1899, under the direction of the churchwardens
for the cleaning, warming, lighting and repairing of the church; the
payment of the organist and choir expenses; the blowing and tuning
of the organ; the ringing of the bells and winding of the clock; the
payment of the Verger, and the keeping of the churchyard in order.
In the March 1900 magazine there was a list
of "Parochial Objects and
Societies for the support of which subscriptions and donations are
invited." These were: Day Schools,
Sunday Schools, Curate's Fund, Poor and Parochial Fund, Treats Fund,
Mission Rooms, Lending Library, Provident Club, Lads' Brigade, Band
of Hope, Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, Church Missionary
Society, Colonial & Continental Church Society, British and Foreign
Bible Society, Waifs and Strays, Prevention of Cruelty to Children,
Queen Victoria Clergy Fund and Church Pastoral Aid Society.
Church finances were considered early on in Revd Coad-Pryor's incumbency.
The magazine of April 1914 reported: “Though
not a very full meeting, it was a very unanimous one, which took place
on March 16th in connection with the Finance Scheme. The amount allocated
to this parish is £55, and the freewill offering method has
been adopted, which enables everybody to take a share in the work
of the Church…..” People were regularly encouraged
to join this Freewill Offering Scheme and those who did received a
supply of envelopes and could pay by weekly, monthly, quarterly, or
annual contributions to raise this money for the essential needs of
the diocese instead of having separate appeals and collections in
church and “those parochial funds
specially needing help”. The church expenses fund was
paid for through the offertories, and again, more was always needed.
However, by 1920 the church and other accounts were in credit.
A new arrangement for providing funds to meet the various parochial
needs started in January 1923. The two principal sources of income
were the offertories and the new Assessment Scheme, the aim of which
was that all who made use of the church for any spiritual reason should
give their financial support by assessing themselves according to
their means. The January 1923 magazine reported: “Those
who assessed themselves have promised about £400 a year, so
that…… there will be no need for any appeals for parochial
funds. The envelopes should be placed in the offertory bags, or in
the Free-will Offering box.”
From the beginning
of his incumbency, Revd Harvey continued the Assessment Scheme. For
churchgoers, the scheme gave the opportunity for regular and systematic
giving which “did away with the
necessity of reminding people of their obligations by constantly asking
them for contributions towards this, that and the other fund”.
The scheme covered the maintenance of the church and the services,
the curate’s stipend, the up-keep of the churchyard, and the
running of organisations like the Sunday School, the Band of Hope,
the Church Lads’ Brigade, and scripture prizes for the Day Schools.
However, this whole period was overshadowed by acute money worries.
Read the article Assessment Scheme.
The Assessment Scheme was not as successful as Revd Harvey had hoped
because it had not received the support of all the members of the
congregation. Although the scheme started well, both numbers and the
amount brought in decreased over the years due to death or the removal
of subscribers. Consequently, collections at services had to continue
alongside the scheme. Every month, in the magazine, Revd. Harvey told
the parish about the money problems and asked them to help, either
with donations or by joining the Assessment Scheme. The annual Summer
Fete and Jumble Sale were held to try to raise funds but eventually,
since it was not possible to dispense with church collections, the
Fund became the Freewill Offering Fund in May 1931. Read the article
For a few years in the early 1940s a Gift Day was held for the church
funds when the vicar sat in Church to receive offerings from parishioners.
It replaced the Fete and "was a
very gratifying substitute". However the parish could
no longer afford a curate and the church began to fall into disrepair.
Eventually the urgent and much needed repairs to the spire were carried
out as the result of a parish-wide collection in 1947.
Even the most rosy-spectacled local historian could not report
that Revd Brunt inherited a prosperous or live parish. Read
the article Free-Will Offering
Scheme. Gift Days were re-introduced in 1951 together with a Dedication
Festival on the birthday of the church at which, for many years, people
had brought financial gifts in special envelopes. The December 1951
magazine reported: "Certainly our
church needs generous birthday-presents this year......"
This first Gift Day was deemed a great success "a
grand result, over £57 altogether".
The Great Renovation
Drive in 1953 saw many fund
raising activities, the financial results of which were
shown on the progress ladder displayed outside the church.
Revd Brunt and some parishioners, in fancy dress, pushed
an ancient barrel organ around the streets, causing the
villagers to give generously.
In 1953 Revd Brunt held a “Great
Renovation Drive”, when he turned out amongst his parishioners
to push a barrel-organ round the village. Read the leaflet
that was produced to promote this. This raised more money than ever
since St. James’s most “palmy”
days. Although this helped bring in extra much needed money for the
church, more and more repairs were needed to get the church into good
condition. The annual summer fete could no longer be relied on to
help so eventually it was decided to introduce a Christian Giving
Scheme and ask everyone with a loyalty to the church to pledge a fixed
amount for fifty weeks in the year 1958. The pledges were given at
the Dedication Festival Gift Day in December 1957. The covenanting
of a few members of the scheme brought in extra money. The old Free
Will Offering scheme was incorporated into the new scheme and people
who undertook this way of giving were not be expected to contribute
to collections or any special appeals.
However by 1961, even with this steady but slow advance, it became
obvious that dynamic and expert help from outside was needed to achieve
an increased and predictable income. The Wells Organisation, which
had introduced the concept of church stewardship via envelopes to
churches and cathedrals across the UK since the 1950s, was called
in. Their initial campaign of five intensive and exhilarating weeks
achieved a response from over two hundred individuals and families.
The target of this Christian Stewardship Campaign was £10,500
over a period of three years and this figure was achieved. Read
the article Christian
Stewardship Campaign. In 1962 there was the first anniversary
of this Christian Stewardship Campaign. Read the leaflet
that was produced to celebrate this.
In 1966 the parish adopted the Diocesan Scheme with its more spiritual
approach, equal consideration being given to the value of time devoted
to service and in worship as to the more material gifts. An early
guiding principle was to avoid, as far as possible, the use of any
paid labour, keeping costs to a minimum.
Ways of using people's 'time and talents' were tackling
the neglected churchyard and backlog of repairs and dilapidations
to the buildings, baby-sitting,
offering lifts to elderly people or invalids, visiting the lonely,
the sick and the housebound, serving and caring for other people.
As a result, over six hundred separate offers of service were received
from over two hundred families. Further campaigns and
programmes took place in 1965 and 1971. The
whole church was renewed and revitalised, and many people were drawn
more deeply into its life of fellowship and worship.
There was an Annual Stewardship Review with Stewardship Sunday
reminding everyone of the principles of stewardship.
The annual Stewardship Review and Supper continued during Revd Chubb's
incumbency. Stewardship had been active for twenty years in the parish,
initially revitalising St James's. However, by 1985 things had changed,
with the December 1985 Spire reporting: "From
being a comfortable, well organised and well-financed group of church
people we had become, almost overnight, a Church with a large financial
problem. From a situation where roughly half the money given went
to the Diocese, and the other half was ours to dispose of as we saw
fit - some to those special projects, most on the running of the Church
itself - we now had to face a situation where almost all the parish
income, at least what we raise now, was needed to meet the hugely
increased contribution which the Diocese was requesting."
Read the article The Common
Fund Assessment. At that time there were about one hundred and
thirty contributors to the Stewardship scheme, some giving as individuals,
some as families. The Stewardship Committee asked twenty visitors
to go round the parish to other contributors, asking them to review
their giving. Some made substantial increases in their giving but
it was not enough to meet the 1985 or 1986 commitments to the diocese.
"In the past, when we have brought
our needs to the Parish, the response has not been lacking. But it
has been eight years since our last full campaign, and in the interval
we have suffered losses by deaths and removals, by inflation, and
possibly also, by a loss of impetus."
So the PCC decided to mount a major Stewardship Renewal and Development
Campaign in 1987 with guidance from a Diocesan Adviser. The 'consultation'
took place in small discussion groups and gave everyone an opportunity
to re-examine their faith, priorities, and values. Arising out of
these groups there was a general desire for more fellowship and corporate
activity. Even though there was an increase in the income, albeit
small, it was felt that more people needed to be brought into the
life of the church. The campaign laid foundations on which St James's
needed to build for the future.
A Church Fabric Loan Investment Fund was introduced in 1990 with the
scheme involving individuals and families making loans to the church
for an agreed term, which were then repaid. The interest that the
money earned during the loan period went to the Fabric Fund. However,
even with this, by 1991 it was realised that for several years the
money raised by the Stewardship giving was insufficient to cover expenses
and so there was a return to fund raising. A new scheme called ‘A
Thousand Pounds by Christmas’ was introduced in October which
actually raised £1500. There were cake sales, cheese and wine
parties, coffee or tea with a bring and buy, selling of preserves,
plants, etc., and garage and treasure sales among others. There was
also an annual Christmas bazaar. By 1992 a collection was re-introduced
at the offertory during the Sunday morning service. It was hoped that
this would augment the regular planned giving. Different types of
fund raising continued for several years and in 1995 Stewardship was
further encouraged by the introduction of a ‘Friends of St.
James’s’ scheme aimed at those people who “appreciate
the fact that St James’s is here”. The idea of
the Friends was that it should encourage all those who valued St James's
to make a regular contribution. In return they would get information
about the activities of the church and be invited to occasional social
Stewardship Reviews continued over the years, reminding everyone that
stewardship was about being fully involved with the church and in
the work of the parish and the wider church. "Our
giving of money is a vital part of that." Read the articles
St James’ Needs Your Support,
The Common Fund, £250
Every Day! and 'A Time for
Decision'. Most of the time the church was short of money but
the year 2003-2004 was reported to have been a good year: "There
was a small surplus of income over expenditure; we had received just
over £24,000 from the release of the covenant on 52 Park Road;
and our investments had increased a little following the improvement
in the stock market over the past 12 months. The treasurer stressed
how important it was to have a high level of planned giving."
A gift aid envelope
The Stewardship Scheme was renamed the Planned
Giving Scheme but was still the same scheme, whereby church members
or supporters gave a regular amount each week, month or year, so enabling
the church to budget for all its expenses. The treasurer, in May 2008,
reported: "There has been heavy
unexpected expenditure over the past year due mainly to problems with
the finalisation of the contract with the builders of the West Porch.
Due to this unusual expense we had a net loss of liquid assets. Had
there not been these problems there would have been a small gain."
Overall, however, the giving had been maintained and the expenditure
contained during 2008-9, with the Spire of June 2009 reporting: "If
the investment loss - which may in time be reversed - was not included,
the accounts showed a positive balance, income over expenditure, of
about £12,000 over the year. The vicar summarised by saying
'We are on an even keel'."
The problems, including financial ones, with the West Porch project
were finally settled around 2010. A lifelong member of St James’s,
Revd Betty Stewart died in May 2013. She left the church a very generous
bequest and the PCC continues to consider the best use to make of
Read the article APCM
above information covers the period from when any records could be
found until November 2016. This was when Revd Derek Winterburn became
St James's tenth vicar and from this time onwards any new information
can be found on the main site's page Church
life through the years.