Church Finances - Please read
Church finances is a bit of a ‘marmite’ topic. Whether you have responsibilities as the Parish Priest or as a member of the Parochial Church Council you must like them. There are rarely questions at the APCM when the accounts are presented, so the impression is that the congregation, in general, may be unaware of the implications of our precarious position.
Our current position
Contrary to what some may believe, the church gets no money from Central Government, nor from the Church of England. In fact, Ss Peter and Paul pay a significant amount to the Diocese to cover wages and wider services.
We have the very difficult situation right now at St Peter and St Paul's Leybourne. It costs £74,000 this year to run our church, yet we currently have just £400 in the bank. That's just two days of reserve! A reserve that can easily be eaten-up by unexpected outgoings.
It is in our grasp to change this. In fact last year we were able to cover our costs. But right now we are asking (prayerfully), as the body of people who make up this church, to take action.
For those who are able, in addition to your usual giving, could we please ask you to consider making an additional one-off gift. For instance if five people were able to give £400, five £200, five £125 and five each gave a one-off additional gift of £75, then £4,000 would be gifted (potentially £5,000 with Gift Aid).
A one-off gift would really help our situation right now, but if easier you might consider spreading out this additional giving through your monthly standing order (an increase in regular giving of £16.67 per month is £200 a year, for instance (£250 with Gift Aid)).
With some switching and changes in our purchasing choices (e.g. shopping around for insurance, cutting down by one bottle of wine a fortnight, cancelling the gym membership that we don't really use, saving money on our next mobile deal, etc) this step-up in church giving is something that we can all be a part of. More importantly, it will enable our church to continue serving God and the growing Parish of Leybourne in the 21st century.
We are not just worried about ourselves as a congregation – as a well-attended church in a relatively wealthy area we should be helping to subsidise those in poorer areas.
Revenue to cover running costs
A significant portion of our income, roughly £900 per week comes from those who give by standing order. This amount includes the tax that we claim back. Similarly, we can also claim tax on giving through the Yellow Envelopes, providing the donor is a UK tax payer.
Last year, we were able to show a surplus of about 5%. This year that has disappeared due to falling giving and increased running costs.
In his talk, Ross White highlights a way of re-thinking how we can give more. It is important that we seek to increase our income to rebuild our reserves.
As mentioned above, we can seehow savings in our daily lives can be converted to giving t the church. Remember HMRC will add 25% to your personal contribution if you are a UK tax payer.
Inflation also means the need to increase income annually by a minimum of 2.5%.
Major work (reordering, tea bar, toilet and new door etc) are supported by Fundraising events. This is capital money that improves the structure of the building.
The Fundraising Committee organise the biennial concert that is very well supported by the congregation and local community. The proceeds from this fund the larger work that is needed to improve the church.
The PCC is adamant that capital money for projects must not be used to supplement the daily running costs of the church.