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Church of England respond to critcisms of their fundraising advisor

by Cara Bentley

Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood, who became the Church of England's National Advisor on Giving and Income Generation in January this year, is being picked-up on for comments he made ten years ago about how it was easy for charities to get money from the forgetful and "vulnerable" elderly women.

In his 2007 book Porcupine Priniciple, published as Jonathan Farnhill, he wrote: "Fundraising through forgetfulness may not seem particularly noble or principled, but it is pragmatic and in fundraising progamatic is king."

He later said that a charity should "target those most vulnerable to our fundraising message", saying "the ends justify the means".

In The Daily Telegraph, Wendy Cocks from Christians on Ageing said: "Older people are especially vulnerable to this sort of thing. If they become unwell then they need their financial resources to pay for care". 

A responding statement given to Premier by a Church of England spokesperson reiterated what his role is and why the Church asks people to give generally but didn't defend the precise criticisms: "Christians are called to give to their church communities, whether financially or through giving up their time or using their talents.

"This stewardship helps Christians to connect with their faith in a tangible way and to live out the Gospel.

"As National Advisor for Giving and Income Generation, Jonathan de Bernhardt Wood leads a team who advise, support and encourage giving in parishes throughout the Church of England.

"This work helps to further the mission and ministry of God's church."

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