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Helping Churches With Giving

Diocese of York

Monday 1st July 2013

The Diocese of York is looking for enthusiastic, financially capable people to act as Deanery Financial Advisors (DFAs). DFAs are volunteers who support churches in managing their finances, and act as a bridge between parish, deanery and Diocese.

Archbishop Sentamu said, “The Deanery Financial Advisors play a vital role in the ministry of the Diocese, and are a huge help to parishes, especially in places where people may not have a great deal of financial or accounting expertise. Being DFA is a ministry of encouragement – encouraging churches with the preparation of their budgets, encouraging them to make generous Freewill Offerings, and encouraging best practice in financial decision making. If you think you could do this – whether you’ve been a PCC treasurer or not – I urge you to pray about this and find out how you could help. In doing so, you would be helping your brothers and sisters in Christ in neighbouring churches.”

 

The Diocese has been served (and is served) by many excellent DFAs, and the role is evolving. If you have previously thought you didn’t have the skills to be a DFA, please look again as it may not be the role you recognise. You don’t have to be a qualified accountant to undertake this role!

 

DFAs are a bridge between parish, deanery and Diocese. If a parish is struggling financially the DFA might be its first port of call for help. If some new information is generated at national or Diocesan level, it might be the DFA who helps the deanery or parish understand what that means at a local level. DFAs are supported by their peer group, in their deanery by the Rural Dean and Lay Chair and also by their Archdeacon and the finance team at Diocesan House.

 

For these reasons, DFAs need to have strong communication skills as well as a good understanding of the financial principles that are applicable to parish finances. You should be committed to the Christian principles of Stewardship and Giving and be willing and able to discuss these with PCCs. How much time you spend being a DFA will depend on how you approach the role, and what your Deanery needs. There are four meetings a year with other DFAs, and you will need to spend some time emailing, phoning and possibly visiting parishes.

 

Richard Liversedge has been a DFA in East Hull for 13 years. He said, “I believe strongly in mutual support. Being a Treasurer can be lonely and frustrating at times and DFAs are perfectly placed to offer a helping hand, to share experience, to understand the local scene and above all encourage. It can be very satisfying on both sides!”

 

We are particularly looking for DFAs for the Deaneries of Whitby, Guisborough, Howden, Hull West, North Holderness, South Wold and Selby. You don’t have to live in these Deaneries to be able to help them – as long as you are able to travel there and work with the parishes on a regular basis.

 

If you’d like to find out more about being a DFA, you can view the Role Descriptor on the Diocesan website, or contact Catherine Evans, Diocesan Finance Manager on catherine.evans@yorkdiocese.org or 01904 699537.

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