Parish Share survey
Parish Share is the sum of money paid by each parish every year to the diocese to support local ministry. The parish share of all parishes in Bath and Wells together make up what is known as the Common Fund.
Every parish is requested to contribute to the Common Fund and they all receive from the Fund..
In this diocese, parish share request is currently calculated by taking current Church Membership (reduced to allow new members to be phased in over three years), and applying a weighted multiple according to the Socio Economic Category (SEC) selected by the parish, which should reflect the relative income of its membership.
These two pieces of information are submitted to the diocesan office, via the survey forms which are sent out to parish churchwardens in January. The returned forms are scrutinised at archdeaconry level before being included in the calculation for the next year’s share.
Guidance about how to complete the form may be found on the Calculating Parish Share page.
A checklist to help you send your completed annual accounts to finance at the diocsean officemay be downloaded from the Accounting and returns page.
The Return of Parish Finance
This return should be submitted to the Church of England statistics unit, via their Online Parish Returns System (the diocesan office does not require this information, it is for Archbishops' Council). This is an annual requirement, using information that will have been compiled for the annual parish accounts and liaising where appropriate with a Planned Giving/Gift Aid Secretary to complete the boxes relating to the numbers of regular planned givers. The deadline for submission of your 2023 return is 28th June 2024.
Return of Parish Finance forms for January to December are sent to Treasurers via Churchwardens in January each year. You can also download the forms and guidance notes from the bottom of this page.
If you need login details or help submitting your form, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Energy Footprint Tool
Please make every effort to complete the Energy Footprint section of the form. The easy to use Church of England's Energy Footprint Tool will tell your church what your 'carbon footprint' is annually, based on the energy you use to heat and light your buildings. By completing it you can help us ensure we are offering you all the support you need to help care for creation.
Watch the video to find out just how easy it is to fill in the form, or if you require further help please contact contact Sara Emmett, Assistant Environment Officer.
Statistics for Mission
Statistics for Mission for each calendar year are due to the diocese by end of the following January. The form is sent from the Diocesan Office to the first-named Churchwarden in September each year, to be completed by Incumbent and Churchwardens. Statistics for Mission requests information relating to baptisms, weddings, funerals, attendance at Christmas and Easter, attendance on Sundays and weekdays during October, ‘worshipping community’ and Electoral Roll numbers. There is usually an additional one-off question on the form, and we will try to notify you in advance where some extra counting may be needed.
When the form is complete, it should be signed by the Incumbent and a Churchwarden, to signify agreement that the figures are correct, and a copy retained. The figures should then be entered on to the Online Parish Returns System.
If you need login details or help submitting your Statistics for Mission form, please email Sue Whitehead.
Use of information from statistical returns
The completed forms are sent online or via the Diocesan Office to the Archbishops’ Council Statistics Unit in London.
The Archbishops’ Council uses the statistical information collected from churches nationwide each year to publish the Parish Dashboards. (NB. These will be uploaded into the Documents Library in due course, but in the meantime please find them on the old website pages.) The figures are used extensively by central church organisations and the various patterns of figures help determine a number of factors, including clergy deployment, allocations of new deacons and stipend support. The statistics from the Finance Return give an overview of how the Church stewards its resources, and can contribute to approaches to Government for extra assistance (eg VAT relief on repairs). Increasingly, information from both these sources is used at diocesan and deanery levels to discern the need for clergy deployment and financial resourcing.
Occasionally, a member of the Statistics Unit will ask to see a copy of the accounts for a particular parish.