Giving at St Catherine’s:
Why AT not TO ?
Very often when the accounts are on the agenda, the importance of a Stewardship Campaign or at least Stewardship awareness floats back to the top of various lists. Some of the associated activity has included language like – planned giving / pledges / financial commitments / gift days – and the focus is a financial one. In very many churches a/the fuller or broader understanding that Stewardship includes also the planned giving of time and of gifts / experience we can share in the service of God and his church is lacking.
So, Giving AT St C includes all and any giving, not just financial which a TO would imply. Vocation or Volunteering is a culture we need to rediscover post-pandemic. Once such a culture exists, then any new arrivals will slot in much more easily.
For those of you who appreciate the theology, or an opportunity to reflect – you will know that on a variety of platforms including, but not only, the pulpit, I have stressed the link between Baptism and Vocation. The same of course can be said but in a more focused and immediate way about Confirmation and Vocation. The equivalent ‘coming of age’ stages in other faiths mark the candidates as being spiritually ‘adults’, and as such fully active and fully responsible. (When I was a school chaplain I was invited to attend the Bar/Bat Mitzvah of 13 year olds and these same youngsters then going on to lead services and to preach)
Every Baptised Christian has a Vocation. When persons baptised are little people – then it is the role and duty of the parents and godparents to help the growing children discern their vocation. It is the role and duty of the wider church family to nurture those vocations in children and young people. This is done through encouragement but also through the confidence building that comes with being allowed to exercise gifts. This is what we promise at every baptism service.
For those of you who prefer a good story to theology – read through to the end of this document and there you might just find one.
St. Catherine’s does not receive money from the German state* or the Church of England. The cost of the Chaplain, the Anglican Centre, all our activities and outreach missions … are supported entirely by voluntary contributions from members, friends and those who wish to support God’s work in this small corner of Stuttgart.
Would you like to help St. Catherine’s in this way? Planned Giving, as an expression of our discipleship, also helps us draw up our budget. You can download a form here.
During Corona times we are encouraging Online Giving only please. (See our Corona Money Update for more details)
If you wish to receive a donations certificate for German tax purposes please e-mail the Finance Team with your contact details.
Financial giving: Our commitment
It is important to state a number of things:
– St Catherine’s in turn is generous regardless of what is affordable. A church cannot ask its members to be generous without being good models of generosity in practice.
– St Catherine’s uses donations responsibly. There are clear structures in place that make accounting transparent, the most obvious being the auditing of Annual Accounts. Less obvious is the work that goes into making and holding to a Budget. Once again if we are encouraging you towards Planned Giving, then we also need to plan well and sustainably.
– St Catherine’s gives annually to a local charity in ecumenical partnership with the Old Catholics – see details here for Café Strichpunkt. Also annually is a donation that goes much further afield where the needs are of a different dimension altogether. Recent such donations went to:
2020 – Medicine sans Frontières
2019 – Well building in Yemen and
2018 – Indian Widows Project and St George’s Baghdad
Less structured is giving to the local Tafel (food bank) and the Rettet die Katharinenkirche (fabric fund) any appeals that come in from the Diocese or even individuals.
These funds ‘to give away’ are raised in a variety of ways:
- the annual ‘Lessons and Carols’ event in December
- the annual Booksale usually held in May
- one-off donations from you which are marked for this purpose – these can come in year round
*As we are not recognised as an official Kirche, many years ago the church council constituted a Verein, the Friends of the English Church e.V., to be the legal entity which represents St. Catherine’s and ensures its charitable status in Germany.
If you have any further questions, please ask the Finance Team – firstname.lastname@example.org