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stewardship newsletter april 20th 2024

Updated: Apr 23

Safeguarding   Training Calendar - Summer 2024 Updated

April Course Time Onine/In-person Trainer

Tuesday 30th Advanced 7.00 - 9.15 pm Cupar St John's Sheila Boyd

May Wednesday 8th Advanced 7.00 - 9.15 pm Online Sheila Boyd

Saturday 11th Trustee 9.30 am- 12.00 pm Kilrenny Church Sheila Boyd

Monday 20th Trustee 7.00 - 9.15 pm Online Alan Monk

Thursday 23rd Trustee 9.30 am- 12.00 pm Largo Sheila Boyd

June Tuesday 4th Trustee 7.00 - 9.15pm Online Sheila Boyd

Monday 17th Introductory 7.00 - 9.15pm Online Alan Monk



New Book from Stewardship Team 

We are excited to share news of our new book, Living Generously – a whole-life response to God’s love. The book explores how we can recognise and steward God’s gifts across twelve different areas of our lives. It offers short articles, case studies and discussion prompts to encourage both individual and group reflection on the impact of generosity.  

This practical and accessible book is now available online from a range of booksellers and direct from the publisher at the link below. 


To celebrate the launch of our new book, Living Generously, the team will be hosting a fringe event at this year’s General Assembly. The event will be held from 12:30pm – 2:00pm on Monday 20 May at Augustine United Church, 41 George IV Bridge, Edinburgh, EH1 1EL. It will feature conversations with a few of the book’s contributors about their own experiences of generosity and the stewardship team will be on hand to answer any questions. A light lunch will be provided.

There is no need to register for the event, nor do you need to be a commissioner to attend. For further details, please contact the stewardship team using the button below. 



If you are attending the General Assembly this May, please visit us in the Martin Hall exhibition space where we will be based throughout the week. This is a good opportunity to meet the stewardship consultant for your area and to share your own stewardship experiences and challenges with us. It’s important for us to keep in touch with what is happening locally, so we look forward to catching up with some of you then. 

New Narrative of Generosity Resources

The Narrative of Generosity encourages the sharing of stories to teach and reflect on Christian stewardship. It is a modular-based resource with twelve themes to help us fulfil our God-given role as stewards. The team has recently released additional resources for the theme of Generations, including a worship starter, Bible studies, devotionals and intergenerational guide.


Funding Growth in the Church

Last year, Seeds for Growth allocated £659,194 for projects which support the numerical and spiritual growth of the Church of Scotland. This year the grant budget stands at more than £1.3million. 

There are four levels of funding available: 

  • Level 1: up to £1,000 

  • Level 2: up to £10,000 

  • Level 3: up to £40,000 per year for up to three years 

  • Level 4: up to £100,000 per year for up to three years. 

Application forms for Level 1 and 2 can be submitted at any time and are available from grants@churchsofscotland.org.uk 

Initial Proposal Forms for grants at Levels 3 and 4 can be requested from the same address along with further information on the application process. You can also read more about the process using the link below. 

Benefact Trust exists to make a positive difference to people's lives by funding, guiding and celebrating the work of churches and Christian charities; empowering the most vulnerable; and giving people, communities and places a renewed opportunity to flourish. 

Church of Scotland churches benefitted to the sum of over £250,000 last year from the following two grant programmes: 

Building Improvement Grants provide essential support to protect and enhance churches and Christian charity buildings, ensuring their continued use and the safeguarding of their heritage. 

Community Impact Grants support direct capital and/or revenue costs, under the following programme areas: 

  1. Growing congregations and Christian communities 

  2. Addressing social challenges facing communities  

  3. Enabling wider community use of church buildings 

  4. Empowering Christian education. 

Further details can be requested by contacting Andrew Bass, Senior Grant Officer, Benefact Trust andrew.bass@benefacttrust.co.uk. You can also view more information on the Benefact website using the link below

The stewardship team is available to advise and support churches in relation to Christian stewardship: providing resources, offering practical solutions and encouraging generosity in all aspects of life in response to God's abundant love.

The team can help with the promotion of effective stewardship through engaging and flexible teaching and worship resources, focussed programmes, event facilitation and practical giving solutions. We can also provide advice to churches undergoing unions. These services are provided free of charge to support congregations in this vital work.

If you are interested in exploring stewardship in your own congregation or presbytery, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email us at stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk. You can also visit our website to find the stewardship consultant for your specific area. 






STEWARDSHIP

Latest Stewardship Resources

The Narrative of Generosity encourages the sharing of stories to teach and reflect on Christian stewardship. It is a modular-based resource with twelve themes to help us fulfil our God-given role as stewards. The team has recently released additional resources for a number of the themes including worship starters, Bible studies, devotionals and intergenerational guides for the themes of:

  • Money

  • God

  • Gifts

  • Possessions

  • Time

  • Vision

  • Volunteers

  • Earth

If you would like to see any of these resources, please email us.Email the Stewardship team


Faith Will – Resources to Promote Legacy Giving

This harvest season, churches across the UK are being encouraged to raise the profile of legacy giving among our members and supporters. This project is supported by the Faith Will initiative of Christian Aid working in partnership with the Church of Scotland, the Church of England and the Quakers. Resources include a short film, posters, leaflets and pick and mix resources for a legacy focus within a service of worship. To sign up and access these resources for your congregation, please visit the Faith Will web page.



Free Treasurer and Gift Aid training

Data Developments is a commercial provider of online accounting solutions for churches. This company is continuing to offer free training events for church treasurers and Gift Aid secretaries of all UK denominations, whether or not you use their other services.

The first course, Treasurer Training, starts on 20 July andwill explain the roles and responsibilities of a treasurer, how to complete year-end reports and more.

The second course, Gift Aid Secretaries, starts on the 21st of July and will introduce Gift Aid and explain the rules and processes for claiming Gift Aid.

These courses are open to everyone and do not promote Data Development's products. By registering for either course, you will also be able to receive recordings of any sessions you might miss.

Find out more and sign up on Data Development's training page (scrolling halfway down the page to find the “Treasurer Training” and “Gift Aid Secretaries” sections).

Guidance on Unions

Information and Resources for Congregations Entering a Union

Generosity in New Unions

Is your congregation part of, or planning towards, a new union? Using the Narrative of Generosity resource as a framework, we have produced bespoke material to encourage an intentional approach to the stewardship of resources within that context. Email the stewardship team to have a copy of the materials sent to you.

Practical Guidance

The Church of Scotland has published practical guidance on the legalities and financial procedures around unions. Please email the stewardship team to receive a copy of of the guide. Email Us


Coming Soon

There are a number of stewardship events and resources coming in the Autumn. We'll update you with details soon on the events below.

Autumn Webinars

The stewardship team is planning a series of webinars for the autumn on a range of topics, including:

  • Offerings and Donations: creating a culture of generosity in congregations

  • Exploring Generosity: engaging all ages in a whole-life approach to stewardship

  • Digital Giving Surgery: a Q&A on digital giving for congregations

If there is a topic you would like to see covered, please share your ideas by sending us an email using the button below.

Stewardship Consultants

The stewardship team is available to advise and support churches in relation to Christian stewardship: providing resources, offering practical solutions and encouraging generosity in all aspects of life in response to God's abundant love.


The team can help with the promotion of effective stewardship through engaging and flexible teaching and worship resources, focussed programmes, event facilitation and practical giving solutions. These services are provided free of charge to support congregations in this vital work.


If you are interested in exploring stewardship in your own congregation or presbytery, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email us at stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk. You can also visit our web pages where you will see the stewardship consultant for your area. Visit the stewardship web pages


Church of Scotland Stewardship Spring 2023 Updates

May 2023Stewardship at the General AssemblyThe stewardship team will have a small stand in the Martin Hall for the duration of the General Assembly. We encourage commissioners to visit us to share your stories of generosity and to hear about how our resources and input can help sustain your congregation. Seeds for Growth Fund Fringe EventLocation: Scottish Storytelling Centre, 43-45 High Street, EH1 1SR

Date: Tuesday 23 May

Time: 12.30pm - 2pm



The managers of the new Seeds for Growth fund are hosting a Fringe event at the General Assembly. The Seeds for Growth Fund aims to support the numerical and spiritual growth of both existing Church of Scotland congregations that are looking to implement new opportunities for mission and growth, and new worshipping communities. This event will help you gain insights into the funding criteria, sizes of grants available, how to apply and other potential funders who share the vision for this type of work. Buffet lunch provided.Find out moreWebinar Recording Now AvailableA recording of the stewardship team’s webinar from February, Exploring New Income Streams, is now available on our YouTube channel. The webinar is aimed at helping congregations explore missional approaches to fundraising and income generation. Please share the link with anyone who may be interested. Further events are being planned to provide greater detail on the topics discussed in this first presentation. These will be announced soon. Watch the webinar Grant Funding OpportunitiesThe following three external funds may be of interest to congregations:


Guidance on Unions



The Church of Scotland website has recently been updated to include practical guidance on the legalities and financial procedures around unions. Below is a direct link to the downloadable ‘Guidance Note for Unions’.








Advance Notice: Faith Will

Look out for forthcoming news and resources for a joint legacy initiative, Faith Will, involving the Church of Scotland, Church of England, Quakers in Britain and Christian Aid. The aim of the campaign is to help churches raise the profile of faith-inspired legacy giving among our members and supporters. The focal point for Faith Will is around Harvest 2023, with the launch planned for mid-June.



Benefact Trust – Community Impact Grants

Activity (revenue) funding is available for projects that seek to grow congregations and Christian communities, address social challenges and enable wider community use of church buildings.


Benefact Trust – Building Improvement Grants

Building (capital) funding is available for essential repairs and minor capital works and expenditures. Funding is also available for equipment purchases, conservation and restoration of historic features, renewable energy measures and aesthetic enhancements.


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) Funding Scheme

Building (capital) funding is available for not-for-profit organisations to support Scotland’s historic buildings. Grants will support repair and consolidation works, management plans and resilience planning and training, as well as archaeological excavations and research, outreach and learning activities. Note that this funding scheme replaces a number of HES’s previous funding programmes.


National Churches Trust – Cherish

The NCT seeks to protect historic places of worship while strengthening heritage management skills and training for people who look after places of worship. Grants of between £500 and £10,000 are available for churches for maintenance, project development and small repairs.

For more information see Cherish | National Churches Trust


In relation to all capital grants, please consult with the General Trustees. More general enquiries around grants can be directed to the Church of Scotland Grants Manager, David Williams: DWilliams@churchofscotland.org.ukRaising Children to Give Generosity is a spiritual practice, just like prayer, yet so often children are left out of discussions about stewardship and giving. In this recording of a webinar from the Anglican Church in Canada, educators and authors Traci Smith and Laura Alary share practical ways to open the conversation and nurture generosity and giving with children all year long. Watch the webinarAmazonSmile Now ClosedAmazon closed its online shopping charity cashback scheme, AmazonSmile, in February. Two alternative schemes which may be of interest to congregations are Easyfundraising and Give as you Live Online. These enable individuals to support their chosen charities when shopping online with a wide range of retailers, with a percentage of the shopper’s spend being automatically donated to their preferred charities, at no extra cost to the shopper. We know of a number of congregations that benefit from these schemes, so we’d encourage you to take a look. Guidance on UnionsThe Church of Scotland website has recently been updated to include practical guidance on the legalities and financial procedures around unions. Below is a direct link to the downloadable ‘Guidance Note for Unions’.Download the PDF documentAdvance Notice: Faith WillLook out for forthcoming news and resources for a joint legacy initiative, Faith Will, involving the Church of Scotland, Church of England, Quakers in Britain and Christian Aid. The aim of the campaign is to help churches raise the profile of faith-inspired legacy giving among our members and supporters. The focal point for Faith Will is around Harvest 2023, with the launch planned for mid-June. Narrative of GenerosityThe Narrative of Generosity encourages the sharing of stories to teach and reflect on Christian stewardship. It is a modular-based resource with 12 themes to help us fulfil our God-given role as stewards. There are a number of supplementary materials now available for the themes of Possessions, God, Vision, Time and Earth. These materials include worship starters, devotionals, Bible studies and intergenerational guides. Email the stewardship team for copies of these or any other resources. Parish Ministers can now access these materials directly through the Insite platform. Stewardship ConsultantsThe stewardship team is available to advise and support churches in relation to Christian stewardship: providing resources, offering practical solutions and encouraging generosity in all aspects of life in response to God's abundant love.


The team can help promote effective stewardship through engaging and flexible teaching and worship resources, focused programmes, event facilitation and practical giving solutions. These services are provided free of charge to support congregations in this vital work.


If you are interested in exploring stewardship in your own congregation or presbytery, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email us at stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk. You can also visit our website where you will see the stewardship consultant for your area. 




Raising Children to Give Generosity is a spiritual practice, just like prayer, yet so often children are left out of discussions about stewardship and giving. In this recording of a webinar from the Anglican Church in Canada, educators and authors Traci Smith and Laura Alary share practical ways to open the conversation and nurture generosity and giving with children all year long.










AmazonSmile Now Closed

Amazon closed its online shopping charity cashback scheme, AmazonSmile, in February. Two alternative schemes which may be of interest to congregations are Easyfundraising and Give as you Live Online. These enable individuals to support their chosen charities when shopping online with a wide range of retailers, with a percentage of the shopper’s spend being automatically donated to their preferred charities, at no extra cost to the shopper. We know of a number of congregations that benefit from these schemes, so we’d encourage you to take a look.



Narrative of Generosity

The Narrative of Generosity encourages the sharing of stories to teach and reflect on Christian stewardship. It is a modular-based resource with 12 themes to help us fulfil our God-given role as stewards. There are a number of supplementary materials now available for the themes of Possessions, God, Vision, Time and Earth. These materials include worship starters, devotionals, Bible studies and intergenerational guides. Email the stewardship team for copies of these or any other resources. Parish Ministers can now access these materials directly through the Insite platform.


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Stewardship

February 2023Webinar: Exploring New Income Streams

Monday 27 February

7:30pm-8:45pm on Zoom


On Monday 27 February, the Church of Scotland’s national Stewardship Team will present an online webinar (via Zoom) to help congregations envisage how they might explore and implement new ways of generating income for their specific contexts. The team will briefly discuss how we can approach fundraising and income generation from a Christian perspective, provide case studies of churches that have incorporated new income streams, and present ideas for creating an income generation strategy for your congregation.


This webinar will be recorded and available to view afterwards on YouTube. Slides and handouts will also be circulated to attendees after the event.


To view full details of the event and to register, please visit our Eventbrite page. Find out more and registerStewardship and Unions Is your congregation part of, or planning towards, a new union? Using the Narrative of Generosity resource as a framework, we have produced bespoke material to encourage an intentional and forward-thinking approach to the stewardship of congregational resources within that context. Read the guide below, and email the stewardship team for further guidance. Read the guide

Frequently Asked Questions The Stewardship section on the Church of Scotland website covers many of your frequently asked questions around Gift Aid and Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme, legacies, digital giving and additional income streams. Be sure to check out our pages, as well as the Finance Resources page. Visit our websiteEasyfundraising webinar recording In November, Easyfundraising hosted an exclusive webinar for Church of Scotland congregations explaining how their fundraising platform works.



Easyfundraising partners with 7,000 brands including John Lewis, Tesco, M&S, Trainline, Booking.com, eBay and Amazon. These companies will donate to your congregation whenever your supporters shop with them through easyfundraising.  It is a free service and is already used by hundreds of churches across the UK. 



You may view a recording of the webinar by registering at the link below. Watch the webinar Digital giving devices

Did you know that around 31% of congregations currently offer or are considering offering digital giving options?


A number of established contactless device providers, CollecTin, Dona and Payaz, have recently become zero-rated for VAT purposes, meaning that the overall cost of their devices has been reduced. There are also additional discounts for Church of Scotland congregations available.


If you are considering purchasing a contactless terminal, email the stewardship team to find out the latest prices and offers.Email usEvent: Digital Giving with Dona Donations

Thursday 16 February

12pm-1pm on Zoom



Join an upcoming Zoom meeting with Dona, a digital giving provider, to learn how to increase your congregation’s income by accepting card donations. At the meeting, Dona will provide a demonstration of their Digital Collection Plate, which enables churches to take donations by card and collect Gift Aid information. There will also be an opportunity to ask questions and to find out more about their Easter offer. Register by following the link below


Narrative of GenerosityThe Narrative of Generosity encourages the sharing of stories to teach and reflect on Christian stewardship. It is a modular-based resource with 12 themes to help us fulfil our God-given role as stewards. There are a number of supplementary materials now available for the themes of God, Vision, Time and Earth. These materials include worship starters, devotionals, Bible studies and intergenerational guides. Email the stewardship team for copies of these or any other resources. Email us


Stewardship Consultants

The Stewardship Team is available to advise and support churches in relation to Christian stewardship: providing resources, offering practical solutions and encouraging generosity in all aspects of life in response to God's abundant love.


The team can help with the promotion of effective stewardship through engaging and flexible teaching and worship resources, focussed programmes, event facilitation and practical giving solutions. These services are provided free of charge to support congregations in this vital work.


If you are interested in exploring stewardship in your own congregation or presbytery, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email us at stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk. You can also visit our website where you will see the stewardship consultant for your area.  Visit our website


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Stewardship Update

November 2022



View in Browser Stewardship Update



November 2022 From Here to Financial Sustainability

The Accelerate programme provides free consultancy to congregations on how to protect the services that they provide to the broader community by making them more financially sustainable.

Accelerate is a bespoke programme of free support, mentoring and guidance open to third-sector organisations, including churches. Join this webinar to hear case studies and to learn about how your congregation might benefit from this programme.

You are invited to a 60-minute webinar on Thursday 17 November at 3:30 pm to hear more about Accelerate, ask questions and learn how to apply.

If you have any questions about the webinar or the Accelerate programme, please get in touch with David Williams, Church of Scotland Grants Manager: DWilliams@churchofscotland.org.uk



Find out more Webinar from easyfundraising

With many people doing their Christmas shopping online, now could be a good time to sign up for or promote online fundraising tools such as easy fundraising. Easyfundraising is hosting two online sessions this month exclusively for Church of Scotland congregations to find out how their fundraising platform works. Easyfundraising partners with 7,000 brands including John Lewis, Tesco, M&S, Trainline, Booking.com, eBay and Amazon. These companies will donate to your congregation whenever your supporters shop with them through easy fundraising.  It is a free service and is already used by hundreds of churches across the UK.  In each of these sessions, a representative from easy fundraising will explain how the service works and answer questions. There are two sessions available, which you can find the details for below.

Session 1

Date: Tuesday 22 November

Time: 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Register for this session Session 2

Date: Wednesday 23 November

Time: 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm



Digital giving survey - last call for responses thank you to those treasurers who have already responded to our digital giving survey. We are delighted to have heard from more than 400 congregations. This feedback will help us ensure that we are offering the right support to congregations on their digital giving journeys. If you received the survey but have not yet had the opportunity to respond, we are extending the deadline to Monday 21 November.



The survey can be accessed using the link below. Complete the survey engaging all ages in stewardship

Find out more about 'Exploring Generosity', the Stewardship Team's resources for all ages, at the next ReNew webinar: 'Head, heart, hands, eyes: Engaging the body of Christ through Spiritual Styles'. This event will be hosted by the Kirk's Faith Nurture Forum on Wednesday 30 November from 7:30-9:00 pm.

The webinar will explore how the Church can move away from age-based assumptions of how people relate to God, and instead consider a model of engagement that enables everyone to connect to God using four distinct spiritual styles. The Exploring Generosity resources will demonstrate how taking account of different spiritual styles can help encourage people of all ages to engage in a whole-life approach to stewardship.

Register for the webinarHousehold Hardship Funding from the National LotteryThe Household Hardship Fund is a £1million fund provided by The National Lottery Community Fund and administered by the Corra Foundation.

  • The purpose of the Household Hardship Fund is to provide small grants to charities and community groups across Scotland that can pass the funding on directly to families and individuals on low incomes.

  • Groups can apply for up to £5,000 to provide families and individuals with cash or vouchers to meet pressing needs such as food, fuel, household items or clothing.

  • All funds must be passed on to families and individuals by 30 June 2023.

  • Please only apply for the amount of money that you are confident you can distribute by 30 June 2023. The minimum your group can apply for is £500.

The Fund aims to reach groups who:

  • Have strong local relationships with people in the community;

  • Are already supporting people in their communities on low incomes;

  • Have an annual income of less than £100,000, not including any Covid-19 emergency grants your organisation received.

Find out more by following the link below.


Please note that this fund is heavily called upon, therefore we would recommend congregations make applications as soon as practicably possible from 22 November, when the fund opens.



Find out more and apply stewardship resources for Advent and Christmas The Stewardship Team has compiled a list of Advent and Christmas resources which explore various aspects of stewardship. You may view the list using the link below.

View the list.









How do we steward our volunteers?

'A Narrative of Generosity' is a resource created by the Stewardship Team that encourages sharing stories to reflect on twelve themes of Christian stewardship. One of these themes is volunteers.  We honour God as we support, develop and encourage those who freely give their gifts, energy and time to the glory of God. 

In relation to this vital stewardship theme, we are pleased to recommend a recorded webinar, 'Growing and Investing in Teams', hosted by our colleagues in the Faith Nurture Forum. This explores how we invite, invest in, and involve people to join us in ministry. This event was first presented to an audience of children, youth and family workers, but is applicable to all areas of church life.

The webinar recording can be accessed through the link below. If you would like to explore the stewardship of volunteers or to engage with the other 'Narrative of Generosity' themes of time, God, gifts, possessions, money, relationships, youth, body, mind, earth or vision, please get in touch with your local stewardship consultant.


Watch the webinar recording winter Support Fund



The Winter Support Fund allows churches or groups of churches to apply for funding to help support communities through the winter cost-of-living crisis. An additional small amount of funding has recently been added to the fund, but please note that this fund will likely close soon.







Read more about the fund and the application process below.

Read more stewardship Consultants


The stewardship team is available to advise and support churches in relation to Christian stewardship: providing resources, offering practical solutions and encouraging generosity in all aspects of life in response to God's abundant love.


The team can help with the promotion of effective stewardship through engaging and flexible teaching and worship resources, focussed programmes, event facilitation and practical giving solutions. These services are provided free of charge to support congregations in this vital work.


If you are interested in exploring stewardship in your own congregation or presbytery, please don't hesitate to get in touch. Email us at stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk. You can also visit our website by following the link below, where you can find the stewardship consultant for your specific area. Find your consultantContact usEmail: stewardship@churchofscotland.org.uk

Phone: 0131 225 5722

121 George Street, Edinburgh, EH2 4YNFollow us























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