Busting some myths

Myth 1. Churches get money from the government, their local Cathedral, the Church of England or other sources.

This is not true. Churches do not receive funds from anywhere other than the generous gifts of the congregation. We can sometimes get grants for work, and we receive tax relief when the gift aid scheme is used. 

Myth 2. Everything given to a church is used for the vicar's salary.

This is not true. As a rough approximation, each year St Mark's money is used:

  • 10% of our income is given to charities that we believe align with our ethos. You can read more about these on our page about organisations we support;
  • £70k is given to pay our Parish Share. This supports our vicar and the churches in Leamington Spa who cannot support themselves;
  • £10k is used to pay for gas and electricity for St Mark's church and the community centre;
  • £10k pays for insurance for the buildings, and in case someone has an accident;
  • £40k pays the salaries of our Children and Families worker, administrators and cleaners;
  • £35k is spent on other things including resources for the children and young people, licences for the music that we use in services, maintaining the buildings, paper, pens, tea, coffee, the list is endless...

Myth 3. Everything given as the Parish Share goes to the Church of England.

This is not true. The Parish Share pays for our vicar and the vicarage, as well as the cost of training new vicars. This comes to around £65k but we at St Mark's give more than this to help other local churches which cannot raise enough money themselves. These include new churches starting in recently-built estates, and churches in deprived areas where congregation members are young, unemployed or otherwise in need themselves.

The central Church of England is funded in other ways; by pension funds, property and investments. The money raised pays for the pensions for retired clergy, over 2000 staff in diocesan offices and cathedrals, 45 Bishops and Archbishops, as well as projects like Living in Love and Faith, Environment Programme and Racial Justice.

Myth 4. The money given to St Mark's is going into the £1billion fund the Church of England is creating to address the legacy of slavery.

This is not true. There have been news reports about this fund, but the money is not being raised from individual churches. No sources for this fund have been announced yet, but it's likely that pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, ultra-high net worth individuals and foundations will be asked to contribute. The plan is for the money to be invested in Black-led businesses focusing on education, economic empowerment and health outcomes – as well as being used to provide grants to address these issues in communities impacted by the legacies of African enslavement.