last year I was reporting on a financially stable year. However, this year has
been more challenging with our balances about to be at their lowest level for
We are not
in serious trouble and your generosity continues at its usual high level. The
issue is that we have had, and continue to have, a year of unusually high
expenditure in maintaining the fabric of our beautiful church.
I think it
is worth looking at the major items:
- Boundary Wall £25K
- Electrical Repairs £5K
- Passage Lights Upgrade £5k
- Drains Repair £4K
- New Sound system £2K
last few days we have been notified that the cost of upgrading the Presbytery
Fire Alarms for multi occupancy will be at least £10K. This upgrade is a
mandatory requirement as we want to be able to continue having visiting priests
and religious to live in the Presbytery and be part of our community.
will take place over the next few weeks.
This gives a
total of about £50K and it is this which has depleted our balances to the
predicted level of £14K in the current account and £30K in our deposit account.
In our experience the age and condition of our church and the possible need for
urgent repairs requires that these predicted balances are the minimum
acceptable level. The balances I reported a year ago were £22K and £63K
respectively – this is a drop of £41K.
we have one big project waiting in the wings. This is the repair to the
presbytery stonework, this will be a six-figure sum, a challenge for future
In the year
ahead we need to rebuild our balances and develop a strategy to raise the £100K
for the stonework. I know we can depend on your continued generosity and a
special thanks to those of you in the Gift Aid scheme. This raised nearly £10k
in the last year. If you are a taxpayer and have not joined the scheme I would
encourage you to do so; it is not too bureaucratic and all personal date is
protected. Please see Andy Doyle or check our website to see how to join.
if you have a standing order with the Parish, it may be worthwhile to see if it
has been de-valued in any way by inflation over the years.
Also, as you know, under the diocesan
development programme, ‘Forward Together in Hope’ we have started to work more
closely in partnership with neighbouring parishes. A Partnership Finance
Committee continues to operate with an annual budget of £5K for which our
contribution will be £950 per year, based on an affordability calculation as
specified by the Diocese. As well as giving financial advice to the
Partnership, this committee reviews any project above £10k and advises the
Diocese as to whether a project fits in the overall needs of the partnership. This
is particularly important right now because of the ongoing property review by
all members of our Partnership. The year ahead will see these new processes
continuing to unfold and become an important part of our Parochial life.
conclusion, the year ahead will present us with continuing financial challenges
and more changes as we work within the new Partnership framework. I feel sure
that your continuing generosity will see us through.
the Parish Finance Council