A critical evaluation of the organisational factors influencing the potential of the parish churches in the church of England to develop their income from individual givers a case study of one of the dioceses in the church of England


Hogsden, J. 2022. A critical evaluation of the organisational factors influencing the potential of the parish churches in the church of England to develop their income from individual givers a case study of one of the dioceses in the church of England. Thesis University of Derby Derby Business School https://doi.org/10.48773/9vq41
AuthorsHogsden, J.
Qualification nameDoctor of Philosophy

Purpose: To evaluate the organisational factors that influence the potential of parish churches within the Church of England (CofE) to develop their income from individual giving, which is the main source of income funding its parochial stipendiary ministry (PSM). Since the end of the 1990s the CofE has increasingly focused on developing this source of income in order to sustain its PSM, which has been challenging. As one of the oldest institutions in England, the CofE has significantly contributed to its spiritual life, as well as its socioeconomic and cultural fabric over the centuries. All the same, there has been very little empirical research about the accounting and finance environment of this institution, particularly the income generating capacity of the parish churches. This research draws from the Theoretical Model of Congregational Giving developed by Finke et al (2006) (the Finke et al (2006) Model) to identify the organisational factors influencing parochial income derived from individual giving, using it as a benchmark. Research methodology: Adopting a critical realism philosophy, this is an exploratory research, deploying an embedded case study approach, using one of the 42 dioceses in the Church of England (CofE). The Diocese of Lxxxxx was selected because its level of parochial income derived from individual giving was one of the lowest amongst the 42 dioceses, as such it is an extreme case. The research period was 2009 to 2018. This research was performed in three phases, drawing from archival information, interviews with two key diocesan staff and four ordained stipendiary ministers, a questionnaire to the parish churches within the diocese, and a questionnaire to the Generous Giving Team (GGT) of the diocese. Findings and research implications: This research has confirmed the importance of individual giving as a source of income to the CofE parish churches. Importantly, it identified that one key threat to this income is the 20.7 percent decrease in the number of committed regular givers, something not previously identified and explored. Regarding organisational factors, this research has corroborated and enhanced the organisational factors of involvement and the number of congregational activities identified in the Finke et al (2006) Model. Moreover, it has identified potential limitations of this model when applying it to other denominations outside its original scope.
This research also identified additional factors not previously considered, including the impact of rural location, the presence of historic assets, the willingness to preach and teach about giving, the complexity of the parish share system method of funding PSM in the CofE, the quality of the working relationships between the diocese and the parish, the spiritual and practical dimensions of Christian giving, and the method of collecting individual giving. Some of which are idiosyncratic to the CofE. The contribution of this research, therefore, is twofold. Firstly, it is the development of a theoretical model for the CofE of the organisational factors influencing the ability of its parishes to generate income from individual giving. Secondly is the practical application for the CofE in supporting the parishes in generating income from individual giving.
Originality and Value: This exploratory research begins to address a gap in the literature in respect of organisational factors influencing the level of parochial income generated from individual giving in the CofE. Moreover, it makes a novel use of the Finke et al (2006) model, in terms of a different denominational setting and a more contemporary time period, using the model as a benchmark. In doing so it has identified additional organisational factors influencing the amount of parochial income derived from individual giving in respect of the CofE, that potentially develop the Finke et al (2006) model, widening its application. It also identifies factors distinguishing the giving environment of CofE parish churches from its counterparts elsewhere such as the USA, enabling the development of a theoretical model of parochial giving income for the CofE and the identification of a range of practical implications for the development of future strategies by the CofE centrally as well as dioceses and parishes.

KeywordsMinistry Funding Model; Individual giving; Parish Share System; organisational factors
PublisherBusiness Law and social Science at University of Derby
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.48773/9vq41
File Access Level
Output statusUnpublished
Publication process dates
Accepted02 Dec 2022
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