On Sunday 26th November we launched our 2023 Stewardship Campaign. Amidst the context of escalating cost of living for many people, we recognise that times are difficult for many people. We live in challenging times and the cost of living is increasing. You may not be able to increase your giving at this time and we pray that those in financial hardship may find a way through. Nevertheless, we are asking everyone to consider whether they can support St Mary’s by increasing their current regular giving.
We are currently spending more money than we have coming in. This year we are expecting a shortfall of £50,000, rising to £125,000 by 2025. This is not sustainable.
You can set up a regular donation here: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12704#!/DonationDetails
There are also many reasons to feel positive about the future of St Mary’s:
- Investment from the Church of England Strategic Development Fund (SDF) is helping us make positive changes to the building (in the form of the new west porch and servery and a new lighting scheme)
- SDF funding is also in place for new staff, including a Children and Families Worker and a Student and Young People’s worker
- The success of the children’s choirs has demonstrated our ability to reach more people, building on our traditional worship style and musical excellence
- Our congregation is growing and diversifying
- We have defined a clear vision for the future of St Mary’s as outlined in the parish profile
There is a great deal that we can achieve as a church, but much of it hinges on having the time and money available to do it. Times are hard for many of us at the moment, so we urge you simply to give what you can – a modest increase in your financial support or volunteering to help with the coffee rota can go a long way to helping achieve our goals.
Money – Where it’s coming from and where it’s going
It cost us £304,832 to run and maintain St Mary’s in 2022. Staffing, parish share and administration accounts for around 85% of that, whilst maintaining the ancient building accounts for the rest.
We are heavily dependent on the continuous giving of regular worshippers and income from other events to pay for it all, but we still spent £53,868 more than our income last year. Based on projections, this could increase to a gap of nearly £125,000 per year by 2025.
How much to give?
The Church of England suggests that church members give 5% of their net (after tax) income to their church and a further 5% to other charities and mission organisations. This means the average household with a net income of £32,000 per year would give £133 per month to their church. Everyone is different so you may find you can afford less or more.
Many people can also boost their giving by 25% at no additional personal cost through gift aid – just tick the box on the giving form.
How to give
You can set up a regular donation (and opt in to Gift Aid) here: https://cafdonate.cafonline.org/12704#!/DonationDetails
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also
reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or
under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 CORINTHIANS 9:6-7