Holy Trinity and St Marks recently held its Annual Meeting and for those who were unable to attend I thought it would be useful to summarise the presentation of the Financial Report for 2021 that I gave to the meeting.
The full annual report can be found on the church website or by clicking on this link. https://drive.google.com/file/
d/ 1NLE7ueVNrjZQPkhcLojDjlIw08zB9 Wua/view?usp=drivesdk
The main message was that, for the fifth successive year, the parish was able to meet all its commitments in full, including the Parish Share.
Total expenditure through the General account for the year was £80772 and a shortfall of £710 in income was covered by a transfer from the General Reserve.
General income of £80062 was almost back to the level of 2019, a remarkable result given that church and social events were ‘closed for business’ for a large part of the year because of covid lockdowns.
The sustained level of income was solely due to the continuing generosity of the congregation and friends of Holy Trinity and St Marks. For example, ‘Planned Giving’ by monthly standing orders and weekly envelopes increased to £40502. This figure has grown steadily in recent years and the 2021 total was nearly 20% higher than that seen in 2018 .
Thanks are therefore due to all those who kept, or increased their standing orders last year, and to those who joined for the first time. It really does make a difference.
When Gift Aid is included, Planned Giving now accounts for 70% of General income. I wonder if I am too optimistic in hoping that one day this will rise to 100%? That would mean that our other income could be used to further develop the work of Holy Trinity and St Mark’s in our villages and wider community.
It would also take some of the pressure off our wonderful Social Committee, who again did a marvelous job in fundraising last year, despite very difficult circumstances.
The second main message in my presentation related to ‘the interregnum’ – the seven months of 2021 that we were without a vicar – and the implications for the future of the Parish.
In June, at the time we said our final farewells to Nancy, it looked as though there would be a shortfall in income of around £15000, and that we would therefore be unable to pay the Parish Share in full. This could have had an impact on whether the Diocese would be able to agree to the recruitment of a full-time vicar.
The PCC (Parochial Church Council) did not want this to happen and a fundraising appeal – The Parish Giving Day – was launched in November. We all now know that this was successful, thanks again to the generosity of our congregation, and the appointment of a full-time vicar was announced in December.
My third topic was to look at the amount of our reserves. At first glance our total reserves at the end of 2021 looked to be extremely healthy at £117295. Many may therefore wonder at my concern about a shortfall of income against expenditure. Hopefully the following will explain:
Firstly, a very large proportion (£74060) of the reserves is ‘frozen’ in an Endowment fund. We cannot use either the capital or income from this fund, and it only shows in our accounts for technical reasons.
Most of the remaining £43000 is restricted to specific items of expenditure, mainly the fabric of our buildings, and cannot be used for day-to-day expenditure. This leaves about £9000 or so as our ‘free’ reserves – enough to keep us running for about three months!
The future of our Parish does therefore depend, as it has done for the last 800 years, on the continuing generosity of those who value it. This generosity is obviously more than just financial – we could not survive without the huge amount of voluntary support that is so freely given – but your cash will always be needed!
Treasurer, Holy Trinity & St Mark’s