One of the most effective ways you can help us is to leave us a legacy. It will help us continue to work at our common aim even when after your death.
- Preparing for our death
- Why we should make a Will
- What types of legacies can you leave Housetop?
- Legal wording for various kinds of Bequest
Preparing for our death
As Christians we are lucky- if our faith is strong enough, we readily accept that there is a bountiful life for us after death.
Cardinal Hume wrote in his book To be a Pilgrim:
The Christian faces death realistically, but also knows it is a gateway, a new beginning, a fulfilment of human life.
The ultimate union with that which is most lovable, union with God, is the moment of ecstasy, the unending now of complete happiness. That vision will draw from us the response of surprise, wonder and joy which will be forever our prayer of praise. We are made for that.
Of course Cardinal Hume is not saying that the process of dying cannot be horrendously painful, lonely or terrifying. We only have to think of the death of Jesus who, on the cross, felt deserted and let down by his Father whilst in the agony of being crucified.
But his death was a wonderfully positive and selfless occasion. He took our sins onto himself so that we would all have that promise of eternal life. Every Easter we hear the Passion and it is easy to be overcome by sadness when we should, perhaps, be overcome by gratitude so that we can truly celebrate this act of utter selflessness. For what other reason could it be called GOOD Friday?
It is natural to be upset by the death of anyone we have known but most of us find the idea of our own death easy to ignore until the last moment.
But we should not ignore it - as Cardinal Hume says:
One day I shall die. Thinking about that is good for me. It helps me look at the way I am living. It enables me to get a better perspective... do not be fearful of death.Welcome it when it comes. It is now a holy thing made so by him who died that we might live.
When thinking about our own death it is therefore good to be spiritually prepared. But it is also good to be materially prepared.
Why we should make a Will
Dying without making a Will is irresponsible. It can produce awful family arguments: the tax man can get a great deal of money from you: your closest friend will get nothing and one of your favourite precious belongings might end up in the hands of a relative when you really wanted another relative(or a friend) to have it; even your spouse might not get everything. If you have children under 18, they might go into care. And charities wont get a penny.
Although we should try not to be materialistic in our lives, it is important to plan for future ownership of our material belongings after our death. You might think you have not got a lot. But when you add up every item, you might find you are quite surprised. It is obvious that death releases us from our debts and assets- but others can really benefit from these belongings and that is good.
A small number of legacies each year will help Housetop to reach hundreds of thousands of individuals and communities in need for years to come.
When making your will, or next changing it, please remember us and we will never forget you. We will pray for you regularly. We have mass in the meeting room of our office at 12.15 every Monday, and at that time we remember all the people who are part of our network - whether in this world or the next!
We all benefited from Jesus' death and I do hope that you will kindly consider Housetop and its women priests' campaign as one charity to benefit from your death by leaving us a legacy.
Our campaign will need to run for decades. Even when the Catholic Church finally decides to admit women to Holy Orders - and this can happen sooner rather than later if we judge by the inrresistible ground swell in the Church, it will still require many, many years for everyone in the Church to understand why this change is required and to be reconciled to it. The experience of the Church of England confirms this.
What types of legacies can you leave Housetop?
There are three main types of legacies:
- a residuary legacy which is the gift of all or part of the residue of your estate. The residue is what is left after all debts, taxes, costs and specific and pecuniary bequests have been paid.
- a pecuniary legacy which is a specific sum of money.
- a specific bequest which is a specific item (such as jewelry)
Legal wording for various kinds of Bequest
I give all (or a ....% share of) the residue of my estate to Housetop Care Limited, Charity No 1053251 to be used for its Women Priests' campaign and I declare that the receipt of their Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.
I give free of tax to Housetop Care Limited, Charity No 1053251 the sum of [words and figures] to be used for its Women Priests' campaign, and I declare that the receipt of their Treasurer or other proper officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge.
A codicil [= an addition to a Will]
I [Name] of [Address] declare this to be a (first/second/etc.) codicil to my will dated [date] . In addition to any legacies given in my said will I give Housetop Care Limited, Charity No 1053251, 111A High Street, Rickmansworth, Herts WD3 1AN, UK, the sum of [amount] ( or specific item to be given) to be used for its Women Priests' campaign and I declare that the receipt of the Treasurer or duly authorised officer shall be a full and sufficient discharge. In all other respects I confirm my said will and any other codicils thereto. In witness whereof I have hereunto set my hand this [number] day of [month/year].
Signed by the said [name] as a codicil to his/her last will in the presence of us who at his/her request in his/her presence and of each other have hereunto subscribed our names as witnesses
[Signatures, Names and Addresses of both witnesses]
Make sure that your commitment to see women ordained priests in the Catholic Church, will live after you!
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