moral indignation has been expressed at the idea or handing over money to "big business" for organising fund raising in parishes and the necessity for expert advice has been questioned.
It is easy to label people as "big business" and feel that it is all wrong, but I submit that this is a rash judgment based on inadequate knowledge. That expert advice produces results can he demonstrated and they are well worth the fees.
I have had such a fund-raising organisation to work in my parish. so I can speak from experience.
First of all, the source book about all this is "The Christian Stewardship of Money " published by the Central Board of Finance of the Church of England. However, this is not an Anglican gimmick. for these methods have been used for years by Catholic parishes in the U.S.A.. Canada. Australia. and New Zealand. We arc merely. as usual, years behind everyone else.
Second, the firm I employed is being formed into a trust. It is not " big business." It is remarkable for the quite outstanding Christian spirit of its operatives. The whole accent is spiritual and I was deeply impressed, particularly when I asked the campaign director what he did himself to support his church.
My motives in having the campaign were spiritual: to educate the people to give to God without bribing them with prizes and in a responsible manner without ranting from the pulpit. It requires very expert guidance to arouse a sense of responsibility in money matters these days. It is better than parish priests becoming "big business" themselves.
The conclusion of the Central
Board of Finance (and it would be a good thing if we had one) is that " some parishes have ques tioned the high cost of engaging professional fund raisers. but results seem to justify the outlay. I would far prefer to pay a fee for expert advice, which will raise the spiritual life of a parish. than to pay equally heavy expenses to "big business" for pools coupons and other less worthy methods of building the House of God.
That expert advice is needed is easy to prove. The average sum per family given as a result of these campaigns is 7s. per week. I estimate that the normal contribution is less than a shilling in Catholic churches. Experience shows that these methods usually treble the contributions.
My experience is that these campaigns are a really expert job that arouse the consciences of the people. induce a sense of Christian stewardship, and are completely spiritual in inspiration. The secretary of the Finance Board said the other day : "The campeign is not Merely to raise Money, but is designed to play a part in reviving the life of the Church." I agree, and I do not think that other methods will do that.
I enclose my card and ask your indulgence for using a pseudonym, which I have used in this connection elsewhere.