This page is for church leaders looking for information about legacy giving. If you are thinking about leaving money to your local church in your will please click here.

Legacies and gifts in wills

Even for those of us confident in speaking about the importance of giving it can be hard to talk about legacies. It is helpful to reconsider legacies in the light of faith and to think about the meaning and importance of legacies to those who leave them. Just as we support our church by regular planned giving while we are alive, so we can choose to continue to profess our love for God and our church after physical death as a commitment to support its ongoing life in generations to come.

Encouraging legacies in your church

The national church has a website dedicated to helping you talk about legacies in your own church which you can find here as well as information for potential donors here. You may also like to read these resources created by the Diocese of Oxford which consider how to approach death in the light of faith. Additionally, we have included below three suggestions for promoting legacy giving in your church:

  1. Integrate legacies into your other giving materials - Whenever you talk about giving make sure to mention legacies. For example, if you have a page on your website about donating, say something about legacy giving; or if you have something on your church noticeboard, you could include your legacy policy (see below). This will introduce people to legacies as a natural continuation of giving to church.

  2. Write a legacy policy - Legacy policies are documents which set out in a simple and clear way why people should give to your church and how you will use any legacies you receive. Once approved by the PCC a policy can be publicly displayed to raise awareness of the difference someone can make by leaving a legacy. You can read more about writing a legacy policy here.

  3. Share the suggested legal wording - As wills are legal documents we always recommend seeking professional legal advice when writing a will. That being said, the national church has provided the basics of the wording here and it can be useful to make this available to anyone thinking about leaving a legacy.

By completing these three steps you can encourage gifts, increase donor confidence in the process of leaving a legacy, and ensure that, when it comes to the church receiving the legacy, the process is as straightforward as possible.

Resources to Enable Legacy Giving

Free will writing service - will writing can often seem like a time-consuming and difficult thing to do – and that’s a big reason why many people put it off. The Church of England has partnered with Farewill to offer a free online will writing service. This service has no obligation for someone to leave a gift to their local church but for those that do it offers a simple process to enable them to do so. To get started simply share this link with members of your community.

Page last updated: Wednesday 24th August 2022 3:41 PM
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