How is the church funded?
St James is funded primarily by giving from its members (and any associated Gift Aid), plus a smaller amount from the hire of the church halls to outside groups. We do not get any funding from the diocese or the government (other than tax relief on some building works costs).
How much does it cost to run the church?
In 2021, the total expenditure was £163,548. The largest cost is employing staff. The building is in reasonably good condition, but given its historic nature does cost a lot more to run and repair than a modern structure.
Do you support other organisations?
Yes, we commit to spending at least 10% of the giving from church members on supporting other Christian organisations. Details of these can be found on the Serving Taunton and Serving Worldwide pages of this website.
Do you make a profit?
Our aim is to make best use of our resources, so while one year we might have a surplus, other years see us spending more than we receive. At present, our income is still recovering from the effects of the pandemic, and it may be several years before we are in surplus again.
I am a new member, how do I go about support the church financially?
Well, first of all, thank you for considering this!
We encourage our members to set up Standing Orders as the simplest and most effective way for members to support St James’s mission. We refer to this as joining our Stewardship Scheme.
In deciding how much to give, that is up to the individual, but we suggest the principle of a 10% tithe on income (after tax) is a starting point. This amount covers all the organisations and people you wish to support, and the proportion that comes to St James is a matter for personal discernment.
We also encourage all our members to sign up for Gift Aid, which boosts your support by 25% coming back from the government.
And please also consider St James when next updating your will! Legacies are a very important way of enabling us to fund projects that are additional to our normal running expenses.
Please speak to one of the welcomers after a service and ask to be introduced to Chris Rickard, our Planned Giving Officer; or email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org asking for the email to be forwarded to her.
Do you have lots of appeals for money?
Basically, no. There will be appeals from time to time for specific things, but they are few and far between. We do have one appeal in abeyance at present, which looks to pay for a Children and Families Worker; but this project stalled during the pandemic, and we are rethinking the way ahead.
I have heard about something called the Parish Share. What is this?
The Parish Share is the mechanism by which we pay for our clergy and diocesan support services (such as advice on finances, safeguarding, children’s work, etc, etc). This gets paid into a Common Fund, from which people are paid centrally. The amount spent on clergy includes salaries, housing, pensions and training. The cost is spread amongst all Anglican church members in Bath and Wells Diocese (roughly the same as the historic county of Somerset), so a larger church like us supports smaller churches and those in less affluent areas.
Can I give money online?
Yes – please click this link for our donations page! Thank you!