last year I was reporting on a financially stable year. However, this year has
been more challenging with our balances predicted to be at their lowest level
for some years.
We are not
in serious trouble and your generosity continues at its usual high level. The
issue is that we have had 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 Alarm system for multi occupancy will be at least £10K.
is a mandatory requirement if we are able to continue having visiting priests
and religious to live in the presbytery and be part of our community.
This gives a
total of £51K 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 doing a
review to see if it has been devalued in any way by inflation over the years.
exceptional circumstances I now have a special appeal to the student body.
University Chaplaincy receives a grant of £12K per year from the Diocese and
the Chaplaincy benefits from sharing the church buildings with St Cuthbert’s
Parish. This allows us to offer excellent facilities to students, and to foster
a lively and vibrant chaplaincy community. However, because of the exceptional
costs we are now facing, we have to ask the student body to make their
contribution to the community’s finances too. Please think about how much you
benefit from the chaplaincy’s facilities, what you currently contribute at
Sunday Mass, and whether you could increase your contribution and perhaps make
it more regular- or even set up a standing order.
the year ahead will present us with continuing financial challenges and we must
restore our cash balances to a more acceptable level. I feel sure that your
generosity will see us through.
the Parish Finance Council