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Churches and charities receive over £115m in grants due to surge in donations during the pandemic

by Heather Preston

A Christian charity has reported a £30.2 million increase in grants for the 'Pandemic Year' 2020, allowing them to distribute over £115m to churches and charities.

Stewardship UK says that despite many charities seeing substantial drops in income due to the Covid crisis it was humbled to see such a remarkable rise in donations from individuals, families and organizations.

According to the company's Annual Financial Report, grants out increased by £6m (an increase of nearly 7 per cent) from 2019. The philanthropic Christian charity says this is largely due to an increase in its donor base which has grown from 35,000 to 40,000 during the pandemic.

The report also showed a 40 per cent increase in giving by Philanthropy Services clients in 2020, largely in response to the pandemic.

Stewardship's CFO Janie Oliver said: "Despite the challenges of the past year, the story of 2020's gifts in is an amazing one of growth in generosity. When the first lockdown hit us all in March 2020, the community of Christians we serve stepped up and we were humbled to see giving increase in the most remarkable way."

As a result of the communities served by Stewardship UK, Stewardship's Rapid Response Fund raised and distributed £5.37 million in grants to 95 churches and Christian charities within 100 days of the first Lockdown in March 2020 meeting local community needs.

This increase in giving also enabled Stewardship to lending a further £3.2 million to churches and Christian charities for building projects.

Stewart McCulloch, Stewardship's CEO said: "In 2020, local churches and the charities equipping these 50,000 community based beacons for hope became the fourth Emergency Service. It was our privilege to match donors' wishes with so many incredible projects providing Christian love and hope in very dark and worrying times. We want to honor the community of givers that we serve for their amazing generosity and the frontline churches and charities for bringing hope to our nation at this time of great need."

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