Call for churchgoers to donate 5% of earnings to charity

General Synod of Church of England to consider proposal

Churchgoers in England will be asked to give 5 per cent of their net yearly earnings to charitable causes, if a motion by the Church of England's National Stewardship Committee is agreed.

The recommendation contained in Giving for Life, a report published today by the committee, will be debated on 10 July by the General Synod, the Church of England's governing body.

If the motion is accepted, the church will adopt an official policy of encouraging church members to give 5 per cent of their earnings to charity.

That is on top of its existing policy of asking parishioners to donate 5 per cent of net annual salaries to the church. Average giving to the church among members is 3.2 per cent of income -- if this were to increase to 5 per cent, it would create an extra £300m in funds for the church, the report says.

The issue of encouraging a 5 per cent donation to charity was raised in the committee's report in 2000, but was not agreed.

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