Stewardship Renewal Help Tool:
Planning

The approach that you take will of course need to be tailored to your own local context.

Some nationally available stewardship programmes can be accessed online.

Giving in Grace is a lay-led stewardship programme linking faith with giving as an act of worship, thanksgiving and ministry. The website provides everything from an overview of the programme to a timetable that offers a direct, task-orientated route into the extensive resource material and provides a structured framework for the work of the planning group.

Giving for Life provides a mechanism for parishes to review their strategy, access proven good practice, and identify priorities.

The Parish Resources website includes a giving programme particularly designed for smaller, rural/village churches.

In Coventry Diocese, having worked through the flowchart, the suggested programme for a stewardship renewal is as follows.

Read through the 'Learning from the Past' help tool, which contains important background information.

Agree on the vision/project to which people will be asked to give, and the criteria by which you will judge the success of the renewal.

Draw up a timetable. This might include:

Preaching and publicity:

Draw up a list of recipients for the renewal literature and invitations. This might include names from:

Decide on and plan the launch event - e.g.

Decide whether you are going to use 'visitors'. These are people who would contact literature recipients to talk about the stewardship renewal, and to take the opportunity to ask about any pastoral needs that the church may be able to meet. Contact may be by telephone or email, or may take the form of a phone call to offer a personal visit. (It's not a good idea to make house calls without an appointment: it changes the relationship. The host is in charge if you are there by invitation.) If visitors will be used, then the renewal literature should explain their role and in what form contact will be made. The visiting team will also need to be trained and supported.

Produce letters and leaflets appropriate to their recipients, be they church members, those on the fringes or the wider community. Examples of literature produced by other parishes will probably not be exactly right for your context, but may be helpful in providing ideas that you can adapt. Make sure that you include information about Gift Aid and also about Standing Orders, which enable people to give the 'first fruits' of their income to God each month.

Whatever the launch event, it is important that everyone receives the same information at the same time. Personally addressed literature should be available for distribution at the launch event, and anyone who doesn't attend the event should have their literature delivered the same day or as soon as possible thereafter. Following the launch event and distribution of literature, visitors (if used) will make contact with recipients or the team may decide, instead, only to make personal contact with those who do not respond within a particular period (e.g. three weeks) to the literature. Again, the literature should contain information to let people know when, under what circumstances and in what form contact might be made.

To mark the end of the renewal period, it is a good idea to:


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