Important Update about our finances and ministries
On behalf of Parish Council, I would like to update you on the church’s finances. We have good news and bad news.
First – the good news.
We sincerely thank God for the dedicated, financial commitment of our church members to the ministries of this church. 60% of our giving now comes electronically & we would love all our members to use this method or the weekly envelopes – it is anonymous and regular. It helps us to plan wisely. Through the ups and downs of recent years, your service and giving has enabled us to maintain all of our previous ministries to children, youth & adults, and to start many new ones – notably ESL, food bank & pupil free days.
But the bad news
Is that we haven’t been meeting our member giving budget. We’ve been spending more on staff and ministry than we have received this year – $15,000 more. This has so far been covered by our meagre Reserves, but they can’t last long. On top of this, our tax deductible SRE /Music Funds Appeal in June, which is vital for our employment of Matt & Olivia, reached only 60% of its target ie. $19,300 instead of $29,000.
We don’t believe this shortfall is because our members don’t support our vision and direction. Other factors may be affecting us. Wages are flat lining. Younger members are finding fulltime work hard to find. Some of our aged warriors have had to move away from our church into care. Despite this, our research shows that weekly attendance this year is identical to 2016. There are also many other important calls on the Christian giving dollar, including many missions.
To counter both these shortfalls, we have already reduced our spending on staffing. Instead of appointing a more expensive replacement for Rev Michael Mak, we have had to reduce Olivia’s SRE involvement in Term 4 & we have met the need in Children’s Ministry by employing student pastors Aaron Smith & Matt Steele-Smith and Year 13 volunteer trainee Alyce Falls. Despite this, we are not paying our way.
What do we ask?
- Please pray about this and ask God to help us keep our ministries at their current levels.
- Consider a one off tax deductible donation to our SRE or Music Trust funds, which directly pays for Matt and our other staff.
- Consider if you can raise your giving even by 1-5% per week for the final 4 months of this year – some won’t be able to, others will.
Your brother in Christ, Graham Crew