for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also [Matthew 6: 24]
Welcome to the Synod Finance Pages
The finance team members, Mike, David and Ryhana provide a wide range of financial services to the Synod and to individual local churches.
David and Ryhana work in the Synod Office and can be contacted on the office phone number.
How is the Synod funded?
The generous giving of each local church
The sale of closed church buildings
Small grants and donations
What is our money spent on?
CRCWs and Ministers, paid centrally via our M&M System
Responsibilities set by General Assembly
Support services to local churches from Mission Mentors to asbestos removal!
Synod support for our local churches
Investing people, time, and money into our agreed priorities
Funding the Synod priorities of work
Giving grants for mission projects and supporting local building works
Grants for Mission Projects and works
The first call on our resources …
All Stipendiary Ministers in the URC are paid by the church centrally. The URC’s “Plan for Partnership in Ministerial Remuneration” sets out how the whole church shares in the total cost of paying for its ministry and mission. The payment of ministers is by far the largest expenditure incurred by the URC. It relies on regular contributions from churches to enable these monthly payments to be made. These payments are known as contributions to the Mission and Ministry (M&M) Fund.
In the NW Synod, alongside the M&M Fund we also collect churches contributions to:
- The Synod levy which pays for support for local churches from Synod staff, and
- Your contribution to the payment of Ministers expenses and housing costs, which are a local church responsibility under the Plan for Partnership.
Churches are reminded that by General Assembly Resolution payments to the M&M Fund are to be regarded as the first call on their resources. If all churches stopped making contributions the church would only have money to pay ministers for a maximum of three months.
How do we decide how much each church should pay?
Each Synod Meeting is responsible for deciding how much in total the churches in that Synod pay towards the M&M Fund and how that total is divided into a share for each local church.
The total amount to be paid by churches in the Synod for the forthcoming year is confirmed at the Synod Meeting each October. For 2020, the total amount the Churches in the NW Synod are committed to pay is £1.67m
Frequently Asked Questions
Simply click on each question to rebeal the answer from our Treasurer
Q How is the total contribution for the Synod decided?
In 2017, our Synod decided that the total contribution from our churches would be the total contribution adjusted for any changes in the total number of members, and then increased by 3%
Q Can you illustrate using simple numbers?
As a simple example:
In year 1, the Synod’s contribution was £100,000 and it had 1,000 members.
In year 2, the number of members had reduced by 50, i.e. by 5%, so the membership was only 95% of that in year 1
The M&M Fund contribution from the Synod would be:
£100,000 * 0.95 = £95,000 (to adjust for the change in membership)
£95,000 * 1.03 = £97,850 (to apply the 3% increase in contribution)
So, the churches in the Synod would contribute £97,850 in year 2
Q Does this rule apply to the contribution from my church?
No, the Synod uses a formula which was agreed in 2014. This is based on a church’s membership and its ability to pay to assess its contribution.
This means that the contribution from your church may change by a higher or lower percentage than the overall Synod total.
More details can be found in this leaflet available here.
Q What information do you use to determine our contribution?
The two key pieces of information, we use to make the assessment are your Church return compiled each January by your Church Secretary and your Accounts for the previous year.
Q What happens if we don’t agree with the assessment?
You can ask for the assessment to be reviewed by your Area Finance Officer. They will normally work with another member of the Area Pastoral Committee to look at your circumstances and whether they consider that you can afford to pay what is being asked.
The outcome of their review is binding on both the church and the Synod.
How do we pay our contributions?
The best way to for churches to pay for their contribution is by monthly DIRECT DEBIT collected by the URC’s Finance Office in London. Each December, they will write to you to confirm the dates and amounts of your payments for the next year.
Some churches prefer to pay by cheque direct to Church House, London. Although these methods are quite acceptable, it is a less efficient way of paying for all parties.
What are the key dates for M&M?
January Church Return completed
June Request for financial information sent to Church Treasurers
July Deadline for receipt of financial information by Synod Office
September Assessment of Church contributions sent to Church Treasurers
October Synod Meeting confirms total contribution
November Final Assessments sent to URC Finance Office in London
December Direct Debit notification sent to Church Treasurers by URC Finance Office
What grants can we apply for?
The Synod provides grants for local churches and also for individuals involved in the United Reformed Church.
Grants for individuals are provided to Ministers, in line with the Education for Ministry (EM3) requirements. Accredited Lay Preachers can also claim grant funding for training and materials.
Churches can apply for grants to support local building projects, and through the Synod can also apply for grants from the URC’s Church Building Fund. Small grants are also available to support Mission Development projects.
Working together, resourcing our ministry
What can the finance team do to help?
The finance team provide a number of services that can help local churches and their Treasurers.
- Access to charity savings accounts
- Access to pooled income and growth investment funds with our partners Castlefield Investments
- Administration of Ministers’ expenses and Housing Costs
- Advice on grant applications for building projects and mission development initiatives
What about the Ministry and Mission Fund?
All local churches are expected to contribute to the Ministry & Mission (M&M) fund. The Synod calculates a total amount to be paid for each year. We use an agreed formula to share this fairly between local churches, according to their ability to pay.
In the URC, this is the first call on the resources of a local churches. In 2020, the contribution from churches in this synod was £1.67m
This leaflet explains more about how the money is used.
More information about how our assessment process works can be found here.
2019: Some Finance Facts
Investment Income paid to churches £122,700
Value of Grants paid £110,995
Training Expenditure £38,334
Investment in Missional Discipleship £185,285
is God’s mission
the strong should help the weak
we belong to each other