National Giving Day
Congregations are being encouraged to participate in a National Giving Day on the day of their choosing between Sunday 5 September and Sunday 31 October 2021. This will provide people of all ages an opportunity to reflect on God's presence with us through these challenging times and to offer gifts of thanksgiving back to God.
Money received through this initiative will remain with participating congregations who will choose how to use these gifts. This money may be used to fund specific work, to launch a new project or simply to offset deficits, taking into account the challenging financial circumstances faced by many of our churches over the last year. Congregations can use the money locally or direct it towards projects at home or overseas, provided that it will be used in line with the charitable objectives of the Church.
Churches' plans for National Giving Day
Carnwath and Carstairs
Rev Sumit Harrison arrived at his new congregations of Carnwath and Carstairs in December 2020. After achieving a £350,000 refurbishment in 2019 with a lot of grant support and fundraising efforts, the congregation of Carstairs plans to make use of its newly flexible building to further its ambitious plans for mission and ministry.
"Carstairs Church was refurbished just before lockdown to be a place for worship and also for all kinds of community activities," he said. "Our plans are to open the church for community use – for messy church, craft fellowship groups, youth groups and, when possible, for community meals."
Like many other congregations, during the pandemic the Carnwath and Carstairs churches saw their income drop and they welcome National Giving Day as a way to get their plans back on track.
"Our general funds are now quite low, so we're raising money for that," the minister added. "We'll send a letter to our congregations and request standing orders so we have a stable income that will help us do a lot more. Our parishes include one priority area where we run an after-school club where we are hoping to offer food, crafts, stories and Bible study."
Our congregations hope that the National Giving Day initiative will help them to offer DVD players and DVDs of worship to people who cannot attend services and do not have access to the online service. Currently the church offers an in-person service at 9:45am and an online service at 11am.
"During the pandemic, we have been connecting with our community through a Zoom call every Friday but now we would like to open our doors for a coffee and snacks community get together. And when we are allowed, we will provide hot food."
Mr Harrison, who originally entered ministry with the Methodist Church in India, intends to teach parishioners how to cook Indian food as part of a culinary fellowship that will include Bible teachings and discussions about faith.
"We are aiming to begin in September," he says. "What we are trying to do right now is reach out to our church members and the wider community. If you can't come to church then our church will come to you."
Innerleithen, Traquair and Walkerburn
The congregation of Innerleithen, Traquair and Walkerburn Church is planning to share its Giving Day income between the local church and the Scottish Bible Society's appeal to provide Bibles for children in Malawi.
Rev Fraser Edwards said the congregation has seen its income drop during the pandemic and they welcome Giving Day as a way to make up the shortfall in their budget.
"When our congregation first began to make some plans for the National Giving Day we were encouraged with the idea," he said.
"After losing rental income and investing in livestreaming technology, a gift day will allow us to recover our financial position and make some plans going forward.
"However, we have also realised just how fortunate we are in this country. Even during lockdown, technology has allowed us to continue to meet, to hear God's word and to grow in faith together.
"We have a close partnership with Thondwe Church in Malawi and for years we have been working on projects together and visiting one another. This has helped us to have a new perspective beyond our local parish and out into the world.
"So for our Giving Day this September we will be encouraging our congregation to give with gratitude to support our local church but also to reach out and support the church in Malawi by giving to the Scottish Bible Society appeal for Children's Bibles in Malawi."
Information and resources
The money raised through your congregation's involvement in the National Giving Day will not be assessable for Ministries and Mission purposes. Congregational Treasurers should separately identify the income donated and be able to demonstrate it was specifically given as part of this initiative. The total received should be recorded under a ‘National Giving Day' line in the analysis of donations note in the accounts. This will enable these gifts to be excluded from assessable income which is used in calculating the Ministries and Mission allocation.
Worship resources to support this engagement – whether virtual or in church – are available on the church's website.
When posting about your Giving Day plans on social media, please tag @churchscotland and use the hashtags #GivingDay and #thisischurch.
Facebook graphics are available for download below.
Keep in touch
The stewardship team is on hand to offer support to churches with National Giving Day or any other stewardship matters including digital giving, personal giving, Gift Aid, funding and fundraising.
The group would welcome hearing about your congregation's plans to mark this event. Send your emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.