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by Michael Ford last modified 13 Mar, 2018 03:49 PM

Parish churches have always received legacies - gifts of money, property or possessions - from church members and well-wishers. Often a legacy may be the culmination of a lifetime’s giving or it can be a way of expressing a level of generosity that might not have been possible earlier in life.

Without gifts in wills some charities would not be able to operate.  Legacies are an every-day event in fundraising for charities, yet they do not have such a high profile in funding the life of our churches.  While local churches might not wish to run high profile legacy campaigns, there are ways in which the issue of making a will can be treated sensitively and legacies encouraged. 

Some facts and figures:

  • Over £1.5 billion a year is given to charities through legacies
  • Legacies to charities are free of inheritance tax and can reduce the overall effect of inheritance tax on your estate
  • One in three of us dies without making a will
  • In 2008, there were 140 recorded bequests to parishes in the Diocese of Salisbury averaging £8,500 

The Church of England's legacy website  has resources to help Parochial Church Councils agree a simple policy on using legacies and to help them promote legacy giving, including a PCC discussion leaflet and sample leaflets for distribution in the parish. It also carries advice on how to begin the process of making a will in consultation with a solicitor.

For local advice, contact:

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