The Church of England has launched new resources to enable churches to run a Generosity Week any time of the year.
The Church of England’s Giving Team has produced a new series of week-long resources (Sunday to Sunday) to encourage people to live generously.
The materials are being shared with dioceses and parishes and will enable them to deliver their own Generosity Week at times suitable for them. The resources are also available to download and listen to on Parish Resources here.
The Generosity Week was created by The Church of England as a response to the fall in church income during the pandemic. However its purpose is to encourage a generous culture within churches, so that churches can grow their ministry for generations to come.
A core part of the material is eight daily podcast reflections for churches to encourage individuals to listen to. These podcasts explore generosity in the Bible through a Bible passage, a key verse from the passage and then a reflection by a range of contributors from across the country and the Church of England. Contributors include our own Bishop of Loughborough, the Rt Revd Guli Francis-Dehqani, Bishop Rose Hudson-Wilkin, Revd Harry Steele, Rachel Mander, Phil and Dani Knox, Fr Paul Thomas, Hazel Lynch and Robin Peake.
In her reflection Bishop Hudson-Wilkin urges us not to give to God from our leftovers:
“If it is not good enough for you, it is not good enough for someone else and certainly not good enough for God…We have a generous God whose love was costly. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son.”
In the final podcast for the week, Bishop Francis-Dehqani says:
“generosity requires us not just to give abundantly but to give things that are good for others…The best generosity comes not from those who live a miserly existence but from those whose enjoyment of the good things of life brims over into a desire to share their blessings with others.”
Commenting on the new resources, Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood, National Advisor for Giving and Income Generation for the Church of England, said:
“Living a generous life is one of the ways we live out our Christian faith. We have seen remarkable generosity and commitment from our church members throughout the pandemic. We hope The Generosity Week will inspire and encourage people to grow in generosity, so we can grow our ministry to the communities we serve”.
The Generosity Week can be adapted for all traditions of The Church of England and in addition to the podcast reflections, it includes the following resources.
• Service Content Packs with a range of material for service leaders to include in two Sunday services, one focussing on generosity and one on gratitude.
• Liturgy for a week’s morning prayer services, to be used both in person or online.
• A small group study session with a guide for leaders, including a biblical reflection and discussion questions based on the material from one of the Sunday services
• A social media toolkit with branded templates.
The Generosity Week was created by The Church of England to support parishes in growing generosity within their churches.
The materials are free and available to download from Parish Resources. Podcasts are available to listen to on Spotify, Google Podcasts and Apple Podcasts.
Churches can run The Generosity Week at any time in the year. The Church of England is developing further Generosity Week resources for Easter and Christmas 2021.
The Church of England has adopted a National Giving Strategy for 2020-2025 that will invest in different ways to encourage giving to its churches. This includes expanding advice and guidance for parishes, encouraging digital giving and providing training for clergy and laity.