BALANCING THE BOOKS
Managing the finances of a church is not that different to managing our own finances at home, just on a rather different scale, for most of us anyway, and in the case of this parish we have more than one home.
We have regular bills to pay, materials to buy, buildings to maintain and grounds to care for. Our churches have seen many years go by and sometimes they can show their age - leaky roofs are not uncommon!
In order to keep our churches at the centre of village life, with safe, secure buildings and warm welcoming communities, which support village life and the wider church, we need to maintain a regular income to ensure we can pay the bills and fix those leaks. That means relying on the generosity of people from our congregations, village communities and often further afield, to give what they can, when they can.
LOOKING FOR MORE GENEROUS HEARTS
Over the last few years, we have been able to fund our everyday running costs from the income that we receive, thanks to the generosity of our many supporters, however over this same period we have found it necessary to use some of our financial reserves to fund major repairs, refurbishments and improvements, such as the Glade at All Hallows and the bells at Saint Mary Magdalene.
Looking forward, further significant work is required on both our churches, and whilst we are able to cover these costs, once again from our reserves, we are very aware that these must be replenished, to ensure that future generations can continue to look after our churches. Our current reserves, given by donors in years gone by, once gone cannot simply be topped up from other Church of England funds.
We need an increase in regular giving if we are to maintain a healthy financial position
Whether you value the architecture, the history, the services or the spiritual presence, our churches are there working for you in many ways, practically, emotionally and spiritual. We want to grow and to see more people become part of the life of the church, providing opportunities for people of all ages to encounter the transforming love of God.
There are many people who already provide financial support, for which we are very thankful, but we need to find more generous hearts to share the load and the benefits that it brings.
Please consider whether you are able to help us meet our challenge, either through financial donations, volunteering or perhaps both. With your help we can make sure our churches are always there for the important times in your life, special times of the year, and everyday life.
As a registered charity we are required to prepare and submit annual accounts, which are presented each year at our Annual Church Meeting in April.
Over the last eight years the parish expenditure has been on average £126,000 per year, whilst the average income has been just over £116,000, leaving a deficit of around £10,000 per year.
Our reserves have regularly been used to cover this deficit.
Our declared assets can be a little misleading, as they include the value of the Callister Hall, which cannot be sold, and an endowment fund from which only the interest generated can be used. Once these are excluded our usable assets amount to £278,000, held in a variety of investment funds, deposit and current accounts. More than half of this is held in reserve for future planned use, leaving around £100,000 to support any future shortfall in income.
Our annual expenditure over the coming years will increase significantly, to around £175,000, as we undertake a programme of planned maintenance and repair on our two churches. This will be funded from reserves, allocated for this purpose. This will leave our remaining funds at a very low level, unless they can be replenished, through additional planned giving.