Parish Finance Forum

Parish Finance Forum

In response to requests from treasurers in the Bristol Diocese, we’ve set up an online forum on a trial basis. This forum will create a space for church finance officers and volunteers to ask questions, share ideas, and get timely updates on urgent information such as grant deadlines. We hope that, over time, this will form a bank of helpful answers to common questions around topics including contactless giving, fees or parish returns.

Feel free to ask the forum for ideas on best practice, eg ‘How did you introduce PGS at your church?’. You are also encouraged to respond if there is a query you know the answer to, eg ‘Do you have the link to the HMRC gift aid changes form?’ or 'Can you suggest trusts that might support organ refurbishment?'. As well as providing answers ourselves, as giving advisers and finance staff, we will monitor the forum to make sure any information shared is correct and up-to-date.

Questions that are confidential or relevant to one parish only, eg querying parish share requests, or asking for a new standing order form, should be sent by email to the finance team or Giving Adviser in the usual way.


Who is it for?

The forum is primarily aimed at treasurers, PGS co-ordinators and gift aid officers, but anyone with an interest in Parish Finance, including clergy, are welcome to join. The more people that join in, the more useful it will be to everyone. Information will not be viewable to the general public, however it could be seen by a wide range of people from the Diocese. As it is a private forum so you’ll need to apply to join (see below). We hope that the forum will be helpful for new treasurers trying to find answers to questions big or small; and we also hope that experienced treasurers will join and offer the benefit of their wide experience!

The success of the forum will be reviewed after six months, and it will only be continued if it is felt to be well used by and useful to parishes.


How do I join?

Click here to join.

1.       If you already have a google account, you can skip the next step, otherwise it will say ‘you don’t have access’.

2.       Click on ‘Try logging in’ and create an account. You can use another email address but you’ll need to create a free google account to link to it and use the forum.

4.       Once you have logged into a google account, go to the group home page where you can click ‘apply to join the group’

5.       You can change your name by unlinking to the Google profile (so you might want to be ‘Bob, St Mary’s, Anytown’)

6.       Choose if you want updates of every post, just daily summaries, or none at all. (You can change this whenever you like).

7.     So we know that people are genuinely from parishes in the Bristol Diocese, please add your full name, church, parish, and role title in ‘reason for joining’

8.       Click on ‘ask to join’. A request to join will now go to the Giving Advisers mailbox– it may take a few days for a reply if we aren't around.

9.       You will get an email as soon as your request is approved, and can now post questions and replies.

How to use:

Find the home page: You may find it useful to bookmark the group home page so you can easily get back to it.

Ask a question: Just go to the top left corner and click on "+ New conversation" and then you can post your question or comment.

See all questions so far: Just click on 'Conversations' in the left hand menu

Reply to a question: If you click on "reply to all" your message will appear to everyone on the forum. If you want to reply privately, click on 'reply to author' which will create an email.

Find an answer: You can use the search conversations bar near the top of the page to see if your question has already been answered.

Get notified of new conversations: This will depend on how you set it up when registering, but you can change these any time under ‘My membership settings’ on the left hand menu, and then ‘subscription’.  You can choose

  • Email - You will receive each email individually as they are sent.
  • Digest Email - (receive e-mail approximately one e-mail per day) you get up to 25 full new messages bundled into a single e-mail.
  • Abridge Email - (receive e-mail once per day or for every 100 messages)-  you will receive a summary of new activity each day.
  • No Email - You will not get any email but you may read the group on the web.

BE AWARE! If you reply to  "Parish Finance Bristol Diocese" as one of the email addresses - this is the email address for the whole group - so bear in mind whether you want to reply to everyone or just one person.   

Any issues, or ideas for how to improve the forum, do contact us!

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