Congregational letter from our Treasurer regarding church finances

Posted by Phil Marshall on 20/06/2014 15:03

Dear friends

As Treasurer, I write to thank you for your continuing financial support and share some summary information about church finances. Following the annual church meeting, Richard and I both appreciated the need to present some clear information

For the last financial year (December 2013), there was a surplus in the General Reserve of £8,770. However, this surplus was only generated because, anticipating a deficit, the PCC had reluctantly agreed to pause our tithing to support mission beyond the parish. We want to resume tithing as soon as is possible.

As at 31st December 2013, our total reserves have decreased by £44,816 from 2012. The following paragraphs explain this movement and the connection with our audited accounts that comply with Charity law.

The reduction in church reserves is attributable to the following PCC decisions to:

  • Spend £35,302 to complete the agreed next phases of the progressive redevelopment of the church hall. As the itemised list of expenditure reveals (see page 4), the total cost incurred to date of refurbishing the hall is £64,992.76.
  • Spend £10,834 to complete necessary improvements and repairs to the former Curate’s property in Weaver Avenue. This property is owned in partnership with the Church Commissioners. It is currently rented to a tenant. The rental income is used to offset the cost of renting our current Curate’s house.
  • Spend £2,581 from the churchyard fund to pay for grass cutting the church yard.

In addition,

  • The reserves held for St. Andrews, Crabtree and Hoscar were reduced by £1,937.
  • During the year, the funds held by Women’s’ Fellowship, Bookstall and Children and Youth ministry reduced by £2,932.

As explained earlier, the general reserve increased by £8,770 so together, these items caused the decrease to our overall reserves by £44,816.

There were also two other movements of funds which do not affect our overall reserves:

  • As we have done for many years, £2,000 was transferred from the General reserve to finance our continuing ministry to children and youth. This is the amount we allocate each year for this ministry.
  • As agreed by the PCC and friends at Hoscar, £9,000 was transferred from the Hoscar reserve to the General reserve help to continue to fund the salary of one of our youth workers for the parish.

These two movements gave a net contribution to the General reserve of £7,000.

Our audited accounts reveal that total income was £220,097 and total expenditure was £264,913. This shows a deficit of £44,816 which against a transfer from reserves (explained above) of £53,586 confirms the surplus as reported above as £8,770.

We continue to carefully monitor and control all expenditure but costs associated with ministry continue.

For your information, our largest expenditure is our annual contribution to support the work of God in our Diocese. This is called our Parish Share. Last year, we contributed £94,764 in Parish Share. In 2014, it has increased to £97,745.

As a church, we seek to honour the Lord’s call to minister to the parish and support ministry locally and internationally.

As part of this commitment, the PCC have decided to extend the contract for Christine Spencer for another year so that together with Joanna, we can continue to develop our ministry in schools and to children and young people.

Finances for the church are tight. To enable us to fund our existing ministry to the parish, honour commitments to the Diocese and resume tithing, I write to invite you to prayerfully review your financial giving to share in the Lord’s work through St. John’s. Every penny counts and giving financially is part of our worship. It is both a privilege and a commandment. Thank you.

There are three phases to giving: How much we can afford, whether we can boost it if we are tax payers and how we give:

1) How much can I afford?

The Bible gives guidelines. Many Christians tithe. Further teaching on Biblical attitudes to giving will be shared on Sunday 13th July, which will be a Gift Day.

2) As a taxpayer, can I increase my giving at no cost?

Yes, through Gift Aid. Gift Aid allows the church, as a charity, to recover the tax that you have already paid. For every £1 that you give, we can recover an extra 25 pence. If you would like to boost your giving in this way, would you kindly complete a Gift Aid Declaration form. These are available in the West End of church, in the Giving section of our website, or directly from me. (email: treasurer@stjohns-burscough.org or telephone 07901 858843).

The Gift Aid Small Donation Scheme (GASDS) allows us to recover tax from open plate giving so everyone's gift helps. We can recover the tax up to a maximum on £5,000 so there is a limit to the amount for which we can claim. This is why we would hope that as many people can give under the Gift Aid scheme.

3) How can I give?

There are 3 options:

a) In order to anticipate how much we will have as income, the best option for the church is for regular giving. If this can be independent of whether you get to church on a Sunday this is even better. So our preference is giving by Standing Order, how much or how little depending on what you can afford. If you would like to give in this way, would you kindly complete a Standing Order form. These are available in the West End of church, on the website or directly from me. (email: treasurer@stjohns-burscough.org or telephone 07901 858843)

b) Our next preference is by Weekly Envelope. Whilst this is assumed to be regular, not everybody comes to church every week for all sorts of reasons. So giving can be less defined and this affects our financial planning. If you would like to give in this way, please contact me (email: treasurer@stjohns-burscough.org or telephone 07901 858843).

c) The last option is to give to the collection at services. Whilst this is always very gratefully received, it is completely anonymous and hence we can only recover GASDS rather than Gift Aid. The white Gift Aid envelopes in the pews enable the church to recover the tax on individual gifts and thus increase the amount given.

Thank you for prayerfully reviewing and responding to the invitation to worship the Lord through giving financially to His ministry through St. John’s. If you can, then please increase what you give and, if you can, increase the regularity and frequency that you give.

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in our shared ministry.

In His Love

 

Peter Dorling (Hon. Treasurer)                      Richard Jones (Vicar)



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