In many parishes, there are people who want to help preserve the church building, even if they don’t come to worship at church. They may have been christened or married there, or have relatives buried in the churchyard. Perhaps they enjoy coming together in church for Christmas, Easter or Harvest festivals – or maybe the church is simple a beautiful building in the heart of the community.
Take a few minutes to think about all those who have connections with your church, what those might be, and what might inspire them to support what is often an important part of our shared heritage.
If you have a group of people who are keen on the history of the church, and are good at hosting fundraising events, then a Friends Scheme is a great way to raise funds, have fun, and create community spirit.
Friends’ schemes are usually a separate registered charity, so check out this example of Terms of Reference download (PDF) to make sure that the PCC and Friends can work together for the best outcome for your church.
- The National Churches Trust has guidance on how to set up a Friends Group and offers a model constitution.
- The Parish Resources website has guidance on running a Friends Scheme.
- London Diocese has also written a toolkit on setting up a Friends Group.
If you are not ready to set up a separate charity for your Friends Scheme, another option is to use a Parish Giving Scheme Appeal Fund, with an ask for regular donations by Direct Debit. This removes some of the pressure to hold fundraising events, but it is still important to keep in touch with your donors and let them know how the funds are being used – otherwise they might cancel.