Each of our local churches is part of the wider church network; the Osmotherley and Hillside Parishes, the Deanery of Mowbray, the Diocese of York.
Local churches are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their buildings, the diocese has responsibility for the training, deployment, payment and housing of the clergy. The diocese also offers regular support to the parishes and also to church schools in a number of different ways so that they can provide mission and ministry. This is explained in more detail in a short video which you can watch here:
Each year the parishes make payments to the diocese for these central costs. It’s called Free Will Offering because each local church must make its own decision about how much to contribute. However, if this decision is to be realistic, it should take a number of factors into consideration. You will find more details here
Church Councils should be thinking about the 2016 Free Will Offering in the period after Easter 2015 in order to make a response to the diocese by 31st July. This will involve a prayerful consideration which will take account of local circumstances, the benefits which come back from the diocese (including the funding of ministry), future developments in mission and also the need to keep pace with inflation. Some suggestions for your prayers can be found here. Do keep before you the prayer that we are seeking to be Generous Churches Making and Nurturing Disciples.
You will find a copy of the Form to advise the diocese of your Free Will Offer for 2016 here.