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Stewardship chats to Stephen and Jo Richards about their Giving Account

Photo of Debbie Wright Debbie Wright
3 min

Stewardship helps over 25,000 people manage their charitable giving across the UK. Whether the recipients are charities, churches, Bible college students or missionaries, we process more than £57million in gifts to them every year. We caught up with Stephen and Jo to talk about their experience of the Giving Account.

Why did you open a giving account with Stewardship?
When I started work at the age of 21, along with everything else I wanted to get my giving sorted. My parents had had a Stewardship giving account so that was a no brainer for me. My parents were incredibly generous people not only with their giving, but opening up their home. I don’t think we ever had a meal when it was just our immediate family.

Was it difficult to set up the giving account?
When the account went online I had some doubts about how easy it would be, but it actually worked really well. I ring up less now and it’s usually because I have forgotten my pin number or password. When I have called up, the Giving Services team are professional, responsive and knowledgeable.

What are the benefits of having a giving account and how has it helped you with your generosity?
Regardless as to what is happening with our normal bank account, our giving account is independent and separate and if something happens in the world we can respond immediately with reserves in our account. We love it as we can not only plan and be intentional with our giving, but we can also be spontaneous. Sometimes Jo and I will want to give to different organisations and of course our account is flexible enough to be able to do that. We also try and review our giving at the beginning of the summer and at Christmas. We are aware that for full-time Christian workers these are expensive times so we think about our giving a bit more then.

How do you feel about the fee that Stewardship charges?
Jo and I think Stewardship is a brilliant organisation; generosity is not all about cash and money. Stewardship offers so much more - resources like 40acts, training for Trustees, mortgages for churches and opening up and offering their meeting rooms for other organisations. They practice what they preach and we are more than happy that the fee Stewardship charges goes to furthering the work of God’s kingdom.

What sort of organisations/individuals do you give to?
All sorts—from large charities like Tearfund (overseas) and London City Mission (home). We give to our church, and support friends in full-time ministry who are youth workers, church planters or studying at Bible college. We also give to organisations we are passionate about and besides planned giving, we keep the Gift Aid back and this is for our spontaneous giving – when there is an emergency appeal or something that really strikes us.

What kind of givers would you describe yourselves as?
Jo and I had a discussion about his question! We would describe ourselves as thankful givers. In many ways as a family we have been blessed: we are both earning with professional jobs. Giving demonstrates where your commitment is; ultimately everything comes from God and is owned by God, we demonstrate our love for him by our giving.

Finally, would you recommend the Giving Account?
Absolutely! We have told our friends about it, I am trustee of a new charity and we are using Stewardship’s services [to create the charity]. If you are serious about your giving why wouldn’t you use the Giving Account?

Thanks Stephen and Jo!

 

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Written by

Debbie Wright

Debbie and her team are responsible for creating online and offline content including Share Magazine, blogs, recourses and case studies. Previously the Producer and Director for BBC Education and Science, she enjoys working on creative ideas with the team to encourage people to live generous lives.

Debbie is a marmalade connoisseur and fair-weather birdwatcher and lives in London with her husband and youngest daughter of four girls. She is passionate about Local Church, Creation Care and Arts & Media, with a particular focus on supporting Christians working in the arts and media.