I received this from an anonymous source:
"A Proposal for Parish Share
Since Chelmsford South Deanery is searching for a new way of calculating Parish Share, and since in the Rural Dean’s words “it’s a vision thing”, I humbly propose the following mechanism. I hope it will be of use, if only as a discussion starter.
My proposals start from the premise that whatever mechanism we come up with should express a “longing for more disciples for Jesus” and “working together across parish boundaries”. With these clauses of the mission statement in mind, I propose
1. Completely de-coupling the average attendance count from the calculation of parish share. This way, churches that make more disciples for Jesus are not financially penalised for doing so. I accept that this would be to the financial disadvantage of parishes which are presently “over-staffed” (ie have more than one stipendiary clergy-person per 90 average attenders): Galleywood, Moulsham St John, Moulsham St Luke, South Woodham Ferrers; and that it would be to the financial advantage of parishes that are by this reckoning “under-staffed”: Great Baddow, West Hanningfield, Woodham Ferrers and Bicknacre. (If my calculations are right, it would make little difference to other parishes in the deanery). However, read on for ways in which the “losers” in the new scheme could greatly mitigate their loss.
2. Encouraging much more pooling of the time of stipendiary clergy, providing financial incentives for PCCs whose clergy work “across parish boundaries”. With the agreement of both PCCs, and without any formal pastoral reorganisation, a stipendiary in an “overstaffed” church (that is, a church with more than one stipendiary per 90 average attenders) could give, say, 15% of his/her time to a parish with no stipendiary clergy; the “receiving church” would gain valuable ministry, while the “sending church” would see their parish share decreased accordingly.
3. The establishment of a “hardship fund” for churches facing unforeseeable financial demands, eg the roof falling in. This is surely better than a system in which it is simply understood that churches facing this kind of hardship will default on their parish share payments.
My proposed formula (after adjustments for provision of housing, fees etc as at present) is as follows:
a) Each parish should pay £38 000 per stipendiary clergyperson, or pro-rata bearing in mind agreements between parishes for the informal redeployment of stipendiary clergy time. Churches without a stipendiary should be asked to pay £4000 to cover the training costs etc of their self-supporting clergy.
b) In addition, a charge to cover diocesan services and a deanery hardship fund would be levied on each parish. I would estimate that this would be at the rate of around £13 000, multiplied first by a factor relating to size of congregation (0.5 for parishes with average attendance below 50, 1 for those with 51-100, 1.5 for those 101-175, 2 for those over 175, 3 for those over 250), and then by a factor, as at present, to represent affluence.
Two imaginary examples of how this might work in practice:
1) Parish 1), A fairly large church in an affluent area has 200 average attendance and three stipendiary clergy. At present, it pays £120 000 parish share and employs a youthworker out of its own funds. Under the new formula, it would pay
a) £38 000 x 3 = 114 000
b) £13 000 x 2 x 1.25 = 32 250
Total £146 250.
Faced with the new demand, the PCC became extremely uncomfortable – until they received a call from church 2).
2) Parish 2), a very small church in a relatively deprived area, has 40 average attendance and no stipendiary clergy, and has been paying £29 000 parish share.
Under the new formula, it would pay
a) £4 000 for the retired clergyperson giving their time to take services
b) £13 000 x 0.5 x 0.75 = £4 200
Total £8 200
The parish was amazed at this total, and very pleased! However, the PCC resisted the temptation to tell everyone to reduce their standing orders or install a jacuzzi under the tower. Instead, with the full agreement of the retired clergyperson in situ, they approached Parish 1), and asked if that parish would consider seconding their youthworker and some young people to them one day a week to start a midweek youth service; for this, they would pay parish 1) £1 500 a year. In addition, they asked parish 1) if they would consider seconding one of their stipendiary priests to parish 2) for 50% of their time; in return, the retired priest at parish 2) offered to spend 50% of her available time at parish 1). Result:
v the total for parish 1) reduced to a manageable £127 250,
v the total for parish 2) was now a realistic £27 200 (plus the youthworker costs)
v parish 2) was revolutionised by the new youth congregation and the young families whom their new part-time stipendiary had been able to bring in
v the growth in discipleship of the people of parish 1) was stimulated by the experience and skills of the retired priest, who enhanced the ministry team enormously
v two parishes had learnt to work together across parish boundaries
v there were more disciples for Jesus.
I offer this proposal to all for their views and discussion."