Thank you for thinking about giving to the mission and ministry of Malmesbury Abbey. Below are some brief biblical reflections on why we give financially as part of our discipleship. And also some practical advice on how to give.
There is a lot in the Bible about money and giving, go looking, and perhaps the bottom line is provided by King David:
Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the majesty and the splendour, for everything in heaven and earth is yours. Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom; you are exalted as head over all. Wealth and honour come from you; you are the ruler of all things. (1 Chronicles 29:11,12)
It’s all His. We are not really owners in the true sense of that word, but rather stewards of God’s gifts. And as followers of Jesus part of our stewardship is to resource the ministry of our local church.
Obviously effective ministry in a church the size the Abbey has its costs and our Parochial Church Council (PCC) and Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) work really hard to get the balance right each year between resourcing our staff and local ministry, maintaining our wonderful building, giving to mission partners overseas and in the UK, and sustaining Christian ministry across the Diocese of Bristol. Hopefully you’ll be encouraged to hear that the largest part of our expenditure each year is on people in ministry, serving God. We also spend a significant amount on the Abbey itself, utilities, development and maintenance, but we aren’t reluctant to do that as the Abbey is an icon of the Christian faith for Wiltshire and the South West of England.
Recently, in a teaching series, we were struck by the great attitude displayed in the church in Macedonia, described in St Paul’s letter to the Romans: I am on my way to Jerusalem in service of the saints there. For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution to the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. (Romans 15:25,26) They were pleased to do it. It’s a pleasure to give, it’s an echo of God’s grace to us, and it’s also a pretty counter-cultural act in a material world. As King Solomon reminds us: Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. As goods increase, so do those who consume them. And what benefit are they to the owner except to feast his eyes on them? (Ecclesiastes 5:10,11) So how can we make your life more meaningful?
How to give?
What you give as a disciple of Christ is of course between you and God; the Abbey leadership deliberately has no sight of any individual giving to the Abbey. Many in our community adopt the biblical principal of tithing, giving a tenth of their income to their local church, giving to God first each month. Others give in a similar generous and proportionate way but leave some room in their overall giving to support charities, mission agencies or child sponsorship etc.
For more information on how to give to the Abbey please contact, in confidence, Jane Sunderland (our Treasurer) at email@example.com.
For every £1 you Gift Aid, Malmesbury Abbey can claim a further 25% of tax back from HMRC.