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Legacy Giving and Funeral Planning

Leave a lasting legacy

Free online will-writing service

Legacy advice and resources for churches

Create a Legacy page

Create a Funeral Planning page

Leave a lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your will is an amazing way to make a final gift to God. Whether you choose to leave a gift to your church, parish, benefice, cathedral, or diocese, it will make a lasting difference.

Legacy gifts can be used to fund mission and ministry projects, help to maintain historic church buildings, and ensure faithful people can be at the heart of local communities Manchester Diocese for years to come.

Legacy giving on average accounts for 60% of UK charitable income, but for our parish churches, the average is much lower at just 7%.

Churches in the Diocese of Manchester received 74 legacies worth a total of £1.4 million in 2021.

Parishes in the Church of England benefit from over 3,100 people who have decided to leave a gift in their wills each year.  This means £63 million in legacy gifts is left to the church each year. Legacy giving on average accounts for 60% of UK charitable income, but for our parish churches the average is much lower, just 7%.

Writing a will and planning your funeral are two simple acts of good stewardship. God entrusted us to use his gifts wisely, for the good of our loved ones, our church family, and the wider world. In thanksgiving, we should also take will-writing seriously – setting our affairs in order and stewarding them wisely.

How to increase legacy giving

Free online will-writing service

The Diocese of Manchester and The Church of England have partnered with award-winning online will-writing company, Farewill, to offer a free online will-writing service. This normally costs £100 for a single will or £160 for couples.

You can redeem your free online will by clicking on the link below:

Farewill provides useful online guidance on a wide variety of topics which should answer any specific questions you may have, including a how to make a will guide.

Disclaimer: by participating in this will-writing scheme, your details will not be shared with the Church of England. If you use the Church of England will-writing scheme, there is no obligation to leave a gift to a church in your will. Your loved ones should always come first. If you do choose to remember your local or a favourite church, thank you. Every gift, great or small will make a real difference to that church and its mission and ministry in your community for future generations.

For guidance on ensuring that legacy fundraising is carried out in accordance with the Code of Fundraising Practice, please visit the Fundraising Regulator. Contact the National Legacy Officer at for more information.

If you’d like to find out how legacy giving can enhance our churches, please visit the ‘Building a generous church’ website and watch the short film showing how a church has reordered their building to enhance its welcome, mission, and ministry.

Legacy advice and resources for churches

Why encourage legacy giving at your church?

Each year, around 5,000 people leave a gift in their will to their local church. These gifts help to fund mission and ministry projects, maintain church buildings, and can be an expression of gratitude and thanksgiving towards God. These gifts are life-affirming and are about the life of the individual and the relationship they have with their church.

Many supporters would like to know how they could leave a gift in their will to their parish church, but may not know how or who to speak to. It is important for all churches to make information available, and to inspire members about the difference wills, no matter how large or small, can make. 

Why now?

Legacy donations are one of the most resilient and reliable forms of charitable income. With many people writing and updating their wills as an act of good financial stewardship, legacies are more relevant than ever before.

Any conversations on charitable giving require sensitivity, but there are many resources and printed materials available to assist clergy and laity in doing this. There is an unrecognised level of support for charities and churches, and a desire to support much-loved causes in the community. People want to thank and support these causes and, for some, leaving a legacy is a way to communicate their ongoing support.

What next?

It is recommended that each PCC has its own unique Legacy Policy. This will help to ensure your church has the resources needed to support individuals, which will outline why legacies are so significant and the way in which people can organise a legacy gift.

For more information, please click on the links below:

Don’t forget to incorporate your vision into your church’s legacy messaging and communicate the impact that gifts in wills can make on your church life and wider church family. 

If your church is fortunate enough to receive a legacy gift you’ll find this guidance and associated guidance useful.

Create a Legacy page

You can find a written template for use on your website and A Church Near You page at the link below. It has been written so that your church can copy and paste it into your website and A Church Near You page. All you’ll need to do is add the name of your church at various points in the text - look out for these highlighted in red.

 Download Legacy Template

Create a Funeral Planning page

You can copy and paste the wording from the template below to create dedicated funeral planning pages on your website and A Church Near You pages. Please make sure to include the hyperlinks to make it easier for people to navigate to the correct resources. 

Download Funeral Template

You can find information about funeral planning here.

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