Policy on Memorial Gifts

Policy on Memorial Gifts
Approved by the Vestry on November 25, 2014
Posted January 12, 2015

A copy of this policy in PDF format is available here. This policy is also posted on the Vestry’s web page here.

From time to time parishioners or other friends of Christ Church make gifts to the Church in memory or honor of a loved one. In making these gifts, the donors find a meaningful way to express their gratitude, love, and memories of that person. Additionally, these gifts benefit the Church and further its mission. Memorials must be considered from several perspectives including purpose, utility, permanence, and ongoing physical maintenance and funding of that upkeep. Memorials should reflect the values of the church community as well as the donor and person being honored. Cash gifts to a specific program or ministry are also gratefully accepted.

In making a gift, the donor gives full ownership to the Church and gives up any control over future use or disposition. When the Church accepts a memorial gift, it agrees to use that gift in accordance with the wishes of the donor for as long as it remains consistent with the purpose and mission of the Church. However, there can be no guarantee that a memorial gift will be used or maintained in perpetuity.

A Letter of Agreement will be completed and signed by both parties for all significant memorial gifts. It is the sole responsibility of the donor to determine the value of a gift-in-kind. The Church cannot assign a value to the donated item. The Church will have the right to dispose of the memorial if and when its care and maintenance becomes unreasonably burdensome or the mission of the Church can be better served by its disposal. In such cases, the Vestry will make the decision as to whether the memorial is to be donated, sold, or disposed of with respect and dignity.

Gifts of tangible property to create a physical memorial in the Church or on its grounds should be in harmony with the Church and its mission. Such gifts should not create an administrative or financial burden for the Church. Proposals for building alterations or additions, interior or exterior fixtures, renovations or decorations must be considered for their effect on the buildings and the grounds. Recommendations to the Vestry regarding the practical and esthetic impact of the gift will be the function of the Memorials Committee composed of members of the parish including those who are knowledgeable in the history and architecture of the Church. The Committee may request plans, drawings, photographs or other “visuals” to determine precisely what is being proposed, where it would be located, and how it would be constructed and installed. The determination to accept or reject the gift will be the domain of the Vestry.

The Memorials Committee will also establish a list of suggested items, ministries, or other memorials that would be acceptable; maintain a Memorials Book, recording donors and memorial gifts; assure that acknowledgements are sent for all memorial gifts received; plan and facilitate dedication events, where appropriate; and see that all memorial gifts are properly used and maintained. When appropriate, the memorial gift will be marked with a plaque or inscription recognizing the donors and the person remembered. The size and style of these markers will be determined by the Memorials Committee in consultation with the Vestry.