News from Hereford Diocese

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Dear All, another jolly selection of bits and pieces for your delectation. Lots of good news on money/finance this time. Please read to the end as some of the best is kept until last (good biblical precedence!)
There has been lots of controversy in the Media re the planned showing of a video promoting the website The controversy has allowed a million people (or whatever the latest figure is) to see the advert.  Hopefully that has driven people to the website, and inspired them to engage in creating and sharing prayers online in a new way. I encourage you to have a look at the website and to promote it as widely as possible
Towards a Parish Offer Scheme 2017
Bishop Richard spoke about financial stewardship in his Presidential Address to Synod on2 July and proposed that "... from the beginning of 2017, like increasing numbers of dioceses across the country, we move to a system of parish share contributions to the common fund which are locally determined offers, not reluctantly or under compulsion." Diocesan Synod on 15 October 2015 approved a resolution to set up a working group to steer the Diocese of Hereford towards a new Parish Offer scheme with effect from 1 January 2017. Revd Richard Jones, chair of the Parish Offer Working Group, prepared a briefing paper for Synod on 15 October. You may view this introductory paper here. For a copy of Richard's address to Diocesan Synod, please click here.

Gift Aid - Small Donation Scheme (GASDS)  
Following a recent ruling, HMRC have updated the guidance on how parishes may claim under the Gift Aid scheme. The National Stewardship Group have provided the following guidance: 
If you are a PCC with a single church, then you should now use the Top Up element of the scheme – use the guidance for single church parishes. Please check HERE.
If your PCC has more than one church, then you should continue to use the Community Buildings element of the scheme and use the guidance for multi church parishes, HERE.

Listed Places of Worship - Roof Repair Fund

The second round of the Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair Fund has opened. Applications will be accepted for 12 weeks, with a deadline of Friday, 26 February 2016. The Chancellor made the welcome announcement in his Autumn Statement last week that the full £25 million pledged for the Fund in the 2015 Budget in March will remain in place. It is anticipated that awards will be allocated in early summer 2016. For further information and new application guidance, please visit the Churchcare website
Parish Buying 
Do not forget there are some good deals available on a range of parish and church supplies. This includes church buildings insurance. We have a recent example in the Diocese of a parish saving 30% ontheir existing premium by switching to an alternative provider
The next 3 months of the Prayer Diary is being worked on now. If you have any prayers you would like to be included from your area of work or your parish/es then please send to Sarah Bassett asap and no later than 11th December 2015.
A free Christmas gift for you and your parish to give away…
Get your family, friends, neighbours, village, talking this Christmas!
Table Talk for Christmas is an all age family game that explores the spirit and meaning of Christmas. The game has been created by the Christian charity Ugly Duckling based in the Forest of Dean. Through our partnership as a diocese with them and their generosity, it is available FREE now as an app on iOS and GooglePlay or you can purchase boxed sets for £25. Advertise the App as a gift from your church  through community Carol Services, parent and toddler groups, local schools or the media (radio and local newspapers). See short video ad on . As easy as that, no strings attached, but more info contact Caroline Pascoe/Laura Johnson on 01584 871086,  and lots more info and ideas on the diocesan website HERE
Teddy Bears and Soft Toys for Syria Plus
The parishes were wonderful in helping achieve the target of sending 10,000 teddies to the children of war torn Syria in June and in fact with everyone's help, we actually sent 12,500 teddies!  The response from the Syria relief agency who distributed the teddies on our behalf once they arrived have sent amazing feedback together with photos of the children receiving their teddies and apparently, the consignment was such a success and made such a difference to the lives of the children that they have asked if we can send more. Bags/boxes of toys can be taken either to the Holy Trinity Church Team Office, Whitecross Road, Hereford between the hours of 10am and 12am Monday to Friday or to Ludlow Diocesan Office during normal office hours (for those parishes in the northern part of the diocese).
Correct link that works RE Climate Change (repeat send)
Please remember the Paris Climate Change Talks coming up starting the end of November in your prayers, particularly following the tragic events in Paris.  Again a short briefing paper available here  This time to the page and click the link there. It’s a good background paper.
Anni Holden
Director of Communications
The Palace, Hereford HR4 9BL