A charitable legacy is a gift of money, property or an item left in a will. This type of giving to charity is commonly referred to as gifts in wills. Gifts in wills can be left to parish churches, cathedrals and dioceses and are exempt from inheritance tax.
Each year around 4,000 people leave a gift in their will to their church, funding mission projects, maintaining beautiful church buildings and growing faithful communities. For many people, leaving a gift in their will is a final opportunity to make a lasting gift to God.
Many supporters would like to know how they could leave a gift in their will to their parish church but may not know who to speak to or how to go about it. It is important for all churches to make information on gifts in wills available and to inspire members about the difference their gift could make.
Watch this moving story about a legacy that was left to St Michael & All Angels in Alphington, and how the congregation used it to reorder the church, enhancing its welcome, mission and ministry.
Encouraging Gifts in Wills to your Church
- Put out legacy leaflets and other informative literature in your church, click here to order free copies
- Make information available on your church website and point visitors to the national legacy website
- Share a story of how the church has benefited from a legacy in the past, click here to find out more
- Use the Church of England’s online free will writing scheme, for more information click here
- Make and communicate a Legacy Policy for your parish church (example template)
- Run a Legacy Campaign in your church
- Create a customised legacy leaflet or legacy bookmark specifically for your church
- Consider running a Legacy Event in your church
Free online will writing service launched
The Church of England has partnered with Farewill, the UK’s favourite will writer, to offer a free online will writing service. Making a will and keeping it updated is an important part of Christian Stewardship and with Farewill individuals can do it from the comfort of their home, for free and in less than 30 minutes. Click here to get started
To find out Why every Christian should have a Will and to order free leaflets for your church, please click here.
Guidance on Receiving a legacy
People often ask who would receive a charitable legacy if left to a parish church. The proper receiving body named as beneficiary in a will would be the Parochial Church Council (PCC).
For more information on receiving a legacy, Inheritance Tax and other FAQs please click here.