The PCC budget
The annual budget is a vital piece of planning and a key responsibility of the PCC. The budget is not just a tool for controlling expenditure - it is your church's mission expressed in numbers.
It is straightforward to prepare a basic budget, however a church budget that just recreates yesterday for today will not be inspiring. A budget that captures the PCC’s vision for the future will help generate congregational giving that is connected to your church's mission. A good budget shows the priorities of your church and lays out the financial targets for the coming year including how much is needed to fulfil your aims for mission and ministry.
Creating your budget
For a PCC the budget is a prediction, a 'best, informed guess', as to how much money the church might receive in donations and fees, along with how much money the church is likely to spend to fulfil its plans for ministry in the congregation and the wider community over the coming year.
The starting point for each year's budget will be the accounts from the immediately previous years, usually, in summary form - a good starting point is your annual Return of Parish Finance document. Simply entering the accounts from previous years into the template will provide a 'first pass' or 'stand still' budget.
Fortunately, the Gospel isn't about 'standing still' and so to complete your budget, the costs of -and expected income from- any new mission initiatives or community projects will also need to be added to the budget templates.
Budgeting normally takes place in the last quarter of the financial year to enable you to look forward and allow time for PCC discussion, sign-off and prayer. In setting a budget, the PCC can then monitor actual income and expenditure against budget throughout the year.
Which template should I use?
There are many templates which can be used to help with setting a budget which should be signed off by the PCC. We have created a template that is simple to use and consistent with the annual Parish Return. Please feel free to expand, amend or use an alternative template. It’s all about personal preference.