Our mission statement is “Called to be closer to Christ and sent to be closer to others.”
In order to try and put this into practice, as a church family, we aim to do several things:
- To come to church faithfully week by week to worship
- To develop our prayer life both corporate and personal
- To develop our knowledge through bible study
- To have adequate church facilities and effective leadership
- To care for each other as a family
- To look outwards and take part in mission opportunities
All of these things have a financial cost and in order to meet this cost we need to be good and generous stewards of God’s gifts.
Generosity is a life skill and a lifestyle, for us as Christians it is an outworking of our faith in an honest, sacrificial and prayerful response to God’s incredible generosity to us.
We try to be good stewards of the monies given to this church. Each year we set a budget and aim to keep to that.
The famous quote from Mr Micawber of Pickwick Papers is very apt for us.
“Annual income £20, annual expenditure £19 – result: happiness. Annual income £20, annual expenditure £21 – result: misery.”
Last year we set a budget for the year 2018 that showed the expenditure was nearly £20,000 higher than the income. We had not found ourselves in this situation before and we were very unhappy about this. We agreed to the budget as we could cover the deficit from reserves and we hoped the situation could be improved. However it is not a situation that can continue.
The actual figure for this year is projected to show expenditure at around £11,500 higher than income. So the situation has improved but is still not sustainable going forward.
Let’s have a look at the expenditure in more detail:
As you can see the main areas are Parish share and salaries.
The parish share covers the cost of our Vicar and Curate and Mission Enabler. This is not just salary but also pensions, national insurance, housing and training. There is also a contribution to the diocese to help with resources and specialist areas that are centrally funded and available to all churches in the diocese. We have always paid our parish share in full and will continue to do so.
Our salaried staff include our children’s and families worker, youth worker, office staff and cleaners.
And here is how we are funding that expenditure:
There are 4 areas that are under your control:
- Standing order (gift aid)
- Gift Aid recovered
- Standing order (not gift aid)
- All other giving
Let’s have a look at the current profile of regular planned givers:
As you can see the total number of people who give regularly by standing order has reduced over the years.
Also we have been blessed in 2015 and 2016 with a few very generous people but these numbers have now declined.
Some of you may be relatively new here and not realise that the easiest way to support our church is by setting up a regular standing order. If that is the case then please do come and see Liz and she can give you the relevant forms. If you pay tax then please make sure you gift aid your donation. This does not cost you anything but the government will give us 25p for every £1 that you give.
As you can see from this chart, our overall giving has gone down since 2011.
In fact it has reduced by over £20,000.
I know that making ends meet is not easy for many people. Costs keep rising and income does not rise in line with the costs.
However I am asking you to review your giving to All Saints. Many people have kept their giving at the same level for several years despite incomes generally rising with at least the cost of inflation.
The Church of England ask people to prayerfully consider giving a proportion of their income.
This chart shows proportions of monthly income. The biblical model of tithing is 10% and we are asked to aspire to that level. I have highlighted on the chart what 5% would look like as if you have not considered tithing before then jumping to 10% in one go might be a little difficult.
So to sum up:
- Please prayerfully review what you are able to give.
- If you normally give by putting money on the collection plate, then please consider whether you could give by standing order.
- It will only be possible to meet the present and future challenge of being the church here in Wellington if each of you is prepared to take on board the Gospel principle of sacrificial giving.
- Sacrificial giving is not a response to need but a joyful and wholehearted response to God’s incredible generosity to us all.
As it says in 2 Corinthians 9 6-7:
“The one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. “