Every year around 5,000 people leave a gift in their Wills to a Church of England parish, and this money is used to finance mission projects, maintain beautiful church buildings, or enable some other aspect of church life. All of our churches have benefited in the past due to legacies.
For nearly 500 years the Church of England has encouraged its members to keep their Wills up to date. The Book of Common Prayer instructs clergy to remind those who are sick:
let him be admonished to make his Will, and to declare his debts, what he oweth, and what is owing unto him; for the better discharging of his conscience, and the quietness of his Executors. But men should often be put in remembrance to take order for the settling of their temporal estates, whilst they are in health.
Will Aid …
Every November a number of local solicitors waive their fee for writing a basic Will and instead invite clients to make a donation to a leading UK Charity supported by the Will Aid initiative.
Will Aid is a great opportunity to have your Will professionally written or amended, whilst at the same time supporting charities and churches. For many, leaving a gift in their Will represents a final opportunity to thank God for his earthly provision and blessings and to make a lasting difference to the future of their Church and community.
Writing a Will and keeping it up-to-date is the only way to be sure that your property and possessions go to the people and causes you care most about. A Will protects your loved ones from the added stress of resolving financial and legal issues when you pass away.
Although there is no obligation to leave a gift to any charity in your Will, leaving a gift in your Will is a great opportunity to make a huge difference after your lifetime. Many charities and churches rely on these legacies. Without being left gifts in Wills so much of their work would not be possible. It can also be highly tax efficient as it is free from inheritance tax and all donations can be Gift Aided by qualifying taxpayers and thereby adding an extra 25% to the value of the gift.
Leaving a Legacy …
We welcome all legacies, however large or small, and we promise to use your gift to make a difference in our villages. The policy of the PCC is to use legacies to help fund significant development projects in the parish, whether buildings, equipment or staff. Church members are, however, encouraged to leave gifts in their Will for the general purposes of the parish; as circumstances change over the years, it may not be possible to fulfil specific donor requests. The PCC will then discuss with the executors the most appropriate use of the gift in the light of current projects and the donor’s known areas of interest in the church, for example, children and youth, music, buildings, etc.
If you would like to leave the Church a gift in your Will, giving in this way is exempt from inheritance tax, we will be pleased to supply details of how you can leave a legacy gift whether or not you have already prepared your Will. The A453 Churches of South Nottinghamshire is a registered charity, number 1189059.
For more information, pick up a leaflet from one of our Churches or visit Church Legacy – a Church of England website that provides excellent material regarding “Leaving a Legacy” and “Writing a Will” together with some wonderful stories of projects from across the Church of England that have been made possible through a legacy gift.