Signed in as:
Signed in as:
Father Matthew explains the reason for the Appeal for financial support of the parish.
As Father explained last week, the Parish is not supported in any way by the Government, or the Vatican, or any source other than us, the Parishioners. I had attended the Parish, and indeed other Parishes for many years without considering how the church is sustained and without considering the work that goes on behind the scenes to keep the church running and acting as an important place for the community. Since taking on my role on the finance committee, it has become clear to me how much goes into running this church and how much of that is donated, either in terms of time or in finance, by parishioners. This week we are focusing on the financial aspects of the running of the Parish.
I took on my role on the finance committee during a difficult time for all of us and for the Parish – COVID. Mass attendance dropped as a result of lock downs and overall income for 2020 was the lowest it had been for ten years. The loss of donations at mass were impactful and we have made efforts in the periods since then to encourage people onto standing, electronic donations. All donations are very welcomed but it is particularly helpful for us when these donations have a regular pattern, and are able to be Gift Aided. Gift Aid adds another a significant portion to all amounts donated to the church – with us able to claim a further 25% on amounts donated from the government.
As you may have seen from the materials we have shared, over the last few years, Parish income at times has been close to or less than Parish expenses – and this is a concern for the long term sustainability of the church. We have shared with you the costs for 2022 which show overall costs of £158k for the year – this includes the boiler renewal (c.£20K) but no other material renovation or maintenance costs. A significant increase in inflation has had an impact on all of us, and has had a noticeable impact on the costs of running the church in areas where you would expect; materials, utilities etc. We were able to save less than 2% of our income from 2022, and we know we have material expenditure coming up – with the latest survey of the church estimating a further £150k needed to maintain the church structure, in the immediate term. The Parish will be challenged to afford this and we expect to need to split this over a number of years to ensure the financial stability of the Parish whilst also maintaining the building appropriately.
We want to make sure that the church is able to remain a viable place for us to worship, and something we can pass on to future generations of our community. I am personally concerned about the financial position of the Parish and my ask today is that we all consider what we are able to give.
Where possible, it would be extremely valuable to the Parish if people were able to give by standing order, with donations including gift aid where relevant / possible. We are able to assist with those wishing to set up a standing order, or to gift aid donations. There will be forms available this week and next week and myself, and other members of the finance committee / Parish council will be on hand to assist with the forms or to answer questions about the donations / finances.
The finances of the church have been impacted by rising costs, which we are aware is mirrored across our Parishioners. We do not want anyone to donate more than they can afford, or to feel obligated to donate - we wouldn’t be doing this drive if it wasn’t deemed essential to the future of the church and this parish.
Thank you, please do speak to me afterwards if you want any further information on the financial position of the parish and the importance of this drive.