Leave a legacy

Our life on earth gives us many choices. As we attempt to make the best use of our time, skills and possessions now, so we may want that positive influence to continue after we have died.

In 2014, the parish received an extremely generous legacy from long-time parishioners Ken and Freda Wilkins. Their imaginative forethought helped lead to the transformation of St Matthew’s and has given us a facility to better serve the local community from the ancient ‘shepherds’ church’. That same legacy enabled the ambitious plans to update the facilities at St Paul’s, equipping it to develop as a centre of community life for the 21st century and beyond. Their gift really ‘opened a door of opportunity’ for us.

Another extraordinarily generous legacy from Les Scott, for many years a server at St Paul’s, wonderfully enabled us to complete all the planned elements of Phase 1 of the Building for Life project at St Paul’s in 2020.

However, our work in the parish is ongoing, and it will only continue to grow and flourish with the benefit of further gifts. Please be inspired and encouraged by Ken, Freda and Les’s example and consider whether you might be willing to make provision for our church beyond your lifetime. We will ensure that anything you give will make a positive contribution to meeting the needs of this community and to God’s future work in this place.

Making a will could be much more than just a sound financial move. It shows respect for your family and dependents and can also demonstrate that you care enough about the good news of Christ to make gifts to your church and to other charities close to your heart.

Legacies are gifts made by will; they can be in cash, in kind (a house, jewellery or shares), a percentage of your whole estate or the residue after other provisions have been made. There is no inheritance tax on gifts to charity and your legacy might enable us to make better use of our buildings, expand our youth work, employ another member of staff or support a mission partner overseas. It is worth bearing in mind that residue or percentage legacies don’t get eroded by inflation.

If you already have a will and wish to make straightforward changes, this can be done by way of a codicil. It is a legally binding document that adds to, varies or revokes provisions in your original will. A codicil has to be signed and witnessed in the same way as your original will (but you don’t need to use the same witnesses). Bear in mind:

  • if you’re using a will-writing service or a solicitor, adding a codicil is usually cheaper than writing a new will
  • a codicil should be kept with your original will; codicils can get lost and raise questions over the original will
  • if you’re changing several parts of your will, it is usually better to write a new will.

Please consult a solicitor to assist you in compiling a will or adding a codicil. Our parish treasurer, Tim Stannard, treasurer@stmatthewstpaul.org, can give further advice and information.

In later life your circumstances may change: you may leave home to live with one of your children or go into residential care. At times such as this, it might be appropriate to follow the example of past benefactors and consider giving a portion from the sale of your house or some of your possessions to the parish for the benefit of the church. If you are a taxpayer at this point, any cash donated can be gift-aided.