Mission work hit by Falling Pound

by Michael O'Neill
Posted on 1st April 2009

We want to alert you to an important issue affecting many Christian workers serving God overseas. The falling value of the pound is significantly reducing the value of donations made in UK Sterling destined for workers overseas. While supporters may still be giving the same amount, those receiving gifts overseas are likely to be suffering a shortfall and may be embarrassed to request further financial support to make up the difference. For example, in Japan, the £1 they had in their pocket a year ago was worth only 62p last month, that is equivalent to a 38% pay cut for a missionary!

What can be done about it?

We are encouraging the Christian community to recognise the issue and respond from an informed and generous position. Please consider how your friends in Christian work around the world may be affected. Is it possible to bridge the gap by increasing our regular donations or making a special one-time gift? Myles Wilson, founder of Funding the Family Business, has written in more detail about this issue which you can read in our Share Magazine published later in April.

How can Stewardship help?

If you are receiving funds, now is a good time to raise the issue with supporters.

If you are supporting individuals and organisations overseas, the Giving Account can help to ensure your giving is tax effective and efficient. Many clients keep a balance in their account so they can meet needs such as this by making a special gift. In addition, higher-rate tax payers seeking to claim the additional 20% tax relief through their annual Self Assessment tax returns appreciate the clarity that a Giving Account statement provides. Why not consider using this higher-rate tax relief to top-up missionary giving through your Giving account during times of currency fluctuations?

Michael O'Neill is CEO at Stewardship.
More info at www.stewardship.org.uk