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Legacy Giving and Funeral Planning

Leave a lasting legacy

Leaving a gift in your will is an amazing opportunity to make a final gift to God, whether to your church, parish, benefice, cathedral, or diocese.  This will make a lasting difference to the future of the Church of England in your local community.

No matter how big or small, every gift in every will can make a significant impact on a church’s mission and ministry. Gifts in wills are an important part of Christian giving and leaving a gift to a church is a way to thank God for all the blessings you have received in your lifetime. 

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

Parishes in the Church of England benefit from over 5,000 people who have decided to leave a gift in their wills each year. This means over £50 million in legacy gifts is left to the church each year.

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 to the end of our time on earth and beyond.


Free online will-writing service

The Diocese of Manchester has partnered with award-winning online will-writing company Farewill to offer a free online will-writing service (RRP £90). 

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

Farewill has provided a couple of documents which should answer any specific questions you may have, including a how to guide and frequently asked questions.

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.

How to make use of the free will-writing service

We offered training on how to make use of the free will-writing service in a webinar, which is available to view below.


Help and support to promote the online will-writing pilot – webinar presentation

Farewill presentation  

How to create a legacy page for your website or A Church Near You page - Legacy and funeral planning page example


Legacy advice and resources for churches

Why encourage legacy giving at your church?

Each year, around 4,000 people leave a gift in their will to their local church. These gifts help to fund mission and ministry projects, maintain beautiful 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 gifts in wills, no matter how large or small, can make.  

Why now?

Throughout the recent pandemic, the legacy donations have proven to be one of the most resilient and reliable forms of charitable income. It has undoubtedly helped many charities and churches weather the crisis. With many people writing and updating their wills as an act of good financial stewardship, legacies are more relevant than ever before.

The impact on people’s lives and livelihoods throughout the pandemic cannot be understated, and any conversations on charitable giving requires sensitivity. Many of us are aware of the immense outpouring 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, amongst other things, that resources are available to individuals, outlining 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:

And, don’t forget to incorporate your vision in to legacy messaging and communicate the impact that gifts in Wills can make on your church life, and for your church family. 


Funeral Planning

No matter how far away it may be, thinking about your own funeral service now and making your wishes known can be a comfort to you and your family in all sorts of ways. If you’re thinking about sorting out your own funeral service plan, Your Church Funeral Planning Tool offers guidance on how to do that, and how it can really help your family when the time comes.

The Your Funeral Wishes Planner is a downloadable leaflet which enables individuals to record their requests. It is split into two sections: what will happen on the day, and what might happen later at a time when family and friends can gather. The leaflet provides spaces to make some notes and begin to think about your ideas, including the sort of music and readings you might like, and the venue where you’d like it to take place. You could then use it to share with those around you.  

Wherever it happens, a Church of England funeral can be designed to reflect your story, making it personal, unique, and meaningful. There are lots of choices that can be made, but remember they are not set in stone. You can revise your ideas as often as you wish.

Remember, your funeral wishes are needed before your will is read, so please don’t keep them with your will. Instead keep them somewhere safe, and don’t forget to let your close family and friends know where to find them. More information is available at the Church of England Funerals Hub.


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