As you can imagine, like most charities, our income has reduced substantially since the start of ‘lockdown’ and if current trends continue it looks like total income for the year could fall by as much as £25000 (about £500 per week) compared with last year’s total of £62000. Whilst some expenses have reduced due to the closure of both Holy Trinity & St Marks, most costs are fixed overheads and the total savings are likely to be around only £4000.

Many sources of income – coffee mornings, social events, fairs, weddings etc have disappeared in the last few months, and are unlikely to return for some time, and with numbers at ‘live’ services at Holy Trinity severely restricted income from the envelope giving scheme and cash collections is well down.

We are fortunate that a number of people who had previously given through weekly envelopes have now switched to monthly standing order- these are now £500 per month higher than they were prior to the crisis and are sufficient to ensure that the costs of running our buildings are covered. However, there will be a major impact on our ability to cover the Parish Share this year.

Whilst the Parish Share is paid to the Diocese we do, of course, see most of it returned to us in the form of clergy salary costs (73% of Parish Share on average) and other support. It should therefore be looked upon as an overhead to be covered in the same way as our other fixed costs.

Bishop Julian recently wrote to all Parishes summarising the challenge for the Diocese, and the following extract does, I think show how the picture looks on a bigger scale. Despite furloughing, redundancies have already had to be made.

“In spite of the challenges many churches have been able to pay their parish share and that has been hugely helpful. Some have really struggled, and we anticipate that by the end of July the shortfall in parish share collection will be over £1.1 million and an estimate to the end of the year of a shortfall of roughly £2 million. There is also the ongoing fall in receipt of fees, which is expected to be over £300,000 in 2020. This means we shall have to use more of our reserves to be able to pay stipends.
The crisis is deepened by the financial plan we made at the 2019 October Synod, to invest £1 million a year from Diocesan reserves over three years, in order to help parishes reach full payment of their parish share by 2023. The expected shortfall for this year of parish share contributions, mitigated by savings in expenditure, when added to the planned £1 million deficit, increases the deficit to over £2.8 million, with implications for 2021. While we can save some costs, the bulk of our expenditure lies in the provision of stipends for parish clergy. These amount to £550,000 per month and are entirely funded through parish share. Unless there is a dramatic increase in giving or a cut in clergy posts, as has been forecast in other dioceses, then our reserves will have fallen to an unacceptable level, having spent over £4.5 million of reserves in three years.”

Giving to the church is a personal choice, driven by your faith and your wish to help Holy trinity to thrive. There is no ‘right’ amount to give but it is only by personal giving that we will get through these difficult times.

So, what can we do? There are a number of different ways we can give to the church :

You can start, or increase regular giving by standing order.

If you have weekly Giving envelopes ‘saved up’ from earlier in the year these can now be brought to the Sunday service or left in the secure box on the wall by the font when church is open at other times. Please leave a cheque rather than cash if at all possible. Alternatively, please contact me to arrange collection.

At Zoom services: through the PCC I have asked Nancy whether, during Zoom services, she can take a ‘virtual collection’. This can be done by mobile phone using our text giving service. Simply text HTBLS to 70085 to donate £5. For other amounts text, for example, HTBLS 10 to 70085 to donate £10, etc (maximum £20)

Donations can also be made via online or banking app directly to the church account at NatWest, Morecambe. Account: Bolton le Sands PCC. Sort code: 01-01-60, account number: 94801703

Cheques, made payable to Bolton le Sands PCC can be sent to the church or to my address.

For any further information, my contact details are:

Phone: 01524 824322. email: holytrinityblstreasurer@yahoo.com
Address: 41 Broadlands Drive, Bolton le Sands, Carnforth LA5 8BH

Thank you

Andy Hampshire
Treasurer