Supporting the ministry of Jeremy Marks
The background to the work I do today is the ministry known as “Courage” which I founded in 1988, and will be finishing (in its former role) in September 2012. That is to say the larger office will be closing and I will no longer be planning regular meetings, retreats etc. However, I shall continue with the pastoral role I have done for 25 years which takes up most of my time anyway, and also be available for speaking and teaching, and (hopefully) more writing.
Courage was a personal initiative on my part (Jeremy Marks) arising from a concern for the pastoral needs of gay Christian people like myself. In the beginning, receiving much support from members of my local church, I left my professional career to “live by faith” (trusting God for financial provision). Since then, the ministry has necessitated that my wife Bren and I invest all our personal resources (home, finances, etc.) in the work. This is still the case today. Friends and members of Courage have provided the principal support base, financially and in prayer. With one or two notable past exceptions, by and large churches have not been willing to support the work, never mind invest in it financially.
In fact the situation deteriorated especially since publication of Courage’s “new approach” that affirms gay Christians—helping them integrate their faith and sexuality—which many traditional churches find unacceptable. Having said that, an increasing number of grateful Courage members, who have valued the ministry at a critical time in their lives, have provided the bulk of support in recent years.
Supporting the Ministry in Prayer
If you would like to support the ongoing pastoral work of Jeremy Marks in prayer, then a brief quarterly prayer letter is available on request by e-mail (or snail mail if preferred). I cannot overstate the importance of continuous prayer support; in fact those who subscribe to the Prayer Letter can share the joy of seeing how time and again God has answered our prayers in some wonderful ways.
Supporting the Ministry Financially
We all need some form of income to live by and it is an expensive business living in the Western world today, property prices and travel costs being what they are! And for those of us who are praying for God’s provision in whatever way He chooses to send it, it is clear that God does not allow us to live within our comfort zones! So every month the need for adequate income to pay the bills is a matter for earnest prayer!
If you would like to support Jeremy Marks, either by making a one-off donation or by regular giving (always a great help, even if at a modest level, as this means one can plan and make commitments), then you can go about this in one of several different ways:
One-off gifts can be made by PayPal (just click on the relevant link in the right hand column).
Recovering Tax: If you are a tax payer, tax can be recovered by sending me a cheque made
out to “New Horizons” together with a special form (download here) which is designed to
facilitate your support in a tax-efficient way. New Horizons is a charitable trust that provides a
great service for full-time Christian workers like me, by making support available to the
individual through an account designated specifically to Jeremy Marks, and then recovering the tax on my behalf, so that I do not need to have a registered charity of my own for the work.
If you are not a tax-payer, or do not want to use the route whereby we can reclaim tax (e.g. if
sending money from abroad), then you can simply make out a cheque to “Jeremy Marks”
(or “Courage”) and send it directly to my office (address below). Or again probably the
simplest route, especially from abroad, is to use the PayPal facility.
Jeremy Marks, Hitherbury House, 97 Portsmouth Road
GUILDFORD, GU2 4DL, United Kingdom
Tel: 01483 301411
Recovering Tax: Much as the one-off gifts are appreciated, regular giving by standing order
is invaluable, because it enables me to plan and make commitments (e.g. to pay the regular
bills!). The New Horizons Standing Order Form can be used for regular giving too, so that not
only do I get the benefit of your regular support, but the tax you paid on the income you have
earned can be recovered too. The form is very simple indeed to fill-in. You then post the
completed form back to me for registration, so that I can acknowledge your gift, then I will
forward it on to New Horizons.
Not recovering tax: Alternatively, if you wish to make a regular gift but cannot pass on the tax
benefit for any reason, you can complete a simple Standing Order form to Jeremy Marks
which will then be paid directly into my bank account. Just drop me an e-mail or leave a
telephone message and I can send you the relevant form on request.
Questions About Giving:
Will I receive news of what you are doing?
Yes. After acknowledging your gift in the first instance, I will add your name to our mailing list
(unless you ask for it not to be added) so that periodically (a couple of times a year) you will
receive an e-mail to keep you in touch with what I am doing (details will be kept on my blog
Will I receive a set of accounts to see how the money has been spent?
I do not routinely send out accounts, because I find that sets of accounts prepared for the
Inland Revenue can present a confusing picture to those who are not familiar with the day to
day income and expenditure. My blog seems to serve the purpose better. But accounts can
readily be made available on request.
Why are you not a registered charity?
A couple of years after I first began the Courage work, I was strongly advised to set up a
registered charity, which I did—and it was known as The Courage Trust. However, over the
years, that proved to be a much greater burden than blessing, creating so much additional
administration that it proved to be counter-productive. In the end (2001) the trustees agreed
to wind up the Trust. New Horizons offer the ideal solution, providing all the benefits of
reclaiming tax and handling all the administration—so that I can just get on with the work I
was called to do! Their charge for this service is covered by taking just a 10% cut of the gift
from the tax recovered—an outstanding service from my point of view.
Can you still accept CAF vouchers and grants from Charitable Trusts?
CAF (the Charities Aid Foundation) are willing to process the occasional gift even though I
am no longer a registered charity. But each occasion is considered on an individual basis, so in practice it has proved easier to send a CAF voucher on my behalf to Guildford Community Church, to which Bren & I belong. A voucher made out to Guildford Community Church, accompanied by a letter or note (address overleaf) requesting that the gift be designated for Jeremy Marks, will reach me promptly after processing if marked for the attention of Rachel May, who is a member of the GCC leadership team.
F.A.O. Rachel May, Guildford Community Church,
14/15 Queen’s Road, GUILDFORD, GU1 4JJ
Grants from charitable trusts are less likely to be available to us now that I am no longer a
registered charity. But since we only ever received a very tiny percentage of our income this
way in the past, the loss is minimal—certainly not warranting the administration needed to
run a fully-fledged registered charity. Moreover, the experience of friends in other charitable
works/ministries—who’ve gone to enormous lengths to apply for grants—is that when they
eventually receive funding, the restrictions on how the grant can be used and demands for
detailed information as to how the money was spent, the value it has given etc, has been so
onerous that it is questionable whether or not it was worth the time and effort to apply. From
my experience, it has proved more fruitful to seek support from people who know you, who
simply give—because they see your good work and believe in their heart that my work is a
ministry worth supporting! Relationships are the key.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to ask.
Thank you very much for your interest and support.
Jeremy Marks, PO Box 748, GUILDFORD, GU1 2ZY, United Kingdom