Christian donors giving more despite recession

The worst economic crisis to hit the UK in decades has not prevented Christians from giving to good causes, according to new figures from Stewardship.

The Christian financial services ministry found that in the last six months, giving increased by 3 per cent on the same period last year.

Since October last year, some 30,000 Sovereign Account holders with the ministry have donated more than £24 million in support to charities, churches and mission workers.

Stewardship Chief Executive, David Jones, said: “Our clients tend to have a planned approach to their giving. As such, they are less likely to see giving as a discretionary expenditure and cut back in difficult times.”

The ministry is warning, however, that overseas mission workers who are supported from the UK are feeling the pinch as the falling value of the pound has resulted in cuts to their support income by up to 30 per cent in some countries.

In the latest edition of Share, Stewardship’s magazine, Funding the Family Business founder Myles Wilson said the problem was being compounded by additional local price rises and cuts in support from people in the UK being made redundant.

He said it was important to find out whether missionaries overseas were coping as they are too often embarrassed to say anything.

“There are no quick answers to this problem, but the main thing is to recognise that there is a problem,” he said. “Often missionaries are too embarrassed to mention it, especially given the financial pressures that they know people are facing back home.”

Wilson said supporters in the UK could help make up the shortfall by offering additional gifts and increasing their regular support. They could also consider making commitments in the currency of the country in which the missionaries are based.

He said: “Whatever short- and long-term solutions we come up with, we need to make sure that the work of God’s kingdom in far off lands doesn’t suffer just because the pound in their pocket isn’t worth what it was 12 months ago.”