“Many a Mickle Makes a Muckle”* [* a Scottish proverb that pre-dates the modern English “Every Little Helps”!]
In a series of short items in the Parish Magazine this year we have tried to answer some of the questions people most often ask about our Church finances.
The starting point is usually:-
Or at least it would be in a “typical” year. Just lately things have not been very "typical" as we have been without a church building whilst the restoration work has been going on and without a permanent vicar whilst the vacancy is resolved.
Every year we published our Annual Report & Accounts which are presented to the Annual Parish Meeting held at St George’s Institute each April. All parishioners are welcome to attend this meeting. The Accounts are then lodged with the Charity Commission.
Each pound that we spend is made up roughly like this:-
All this has to be found from the Parish – from the money we collect at our church services and from our various fund raising activities.
The biggest item in our expenditure is “Parish Share”. In a typical year it costs about £2,600 a week to run St George’s and around £1,400 of that is the “Parish Share” which we pay to the Diocese.
Every parish in the Diocese is asked to contribute a Parish Share (or Parish Assessment) to a central pot each year. This pot pays for the wages of all clergy and also pension costs, housing, training and a range of Diocesan support to parishes. These costs do not include the costs of the Diocesan Bishop or the housing and office costs of the Suffragan Bishops which are funded nationally. The Cathedral also funds itself, receiving only a small grant from the Parish Share.
The amount that each parish is asked to pay is based on the numbers attending church. A head count of worshippers is taken in all parishes every October and an average for each church for the last three years is taken so as to “iron out” any sudden changes. The total of the numbers is divided into the Diocesan Budget to give a Parish Share per head and from this the Assessment for each parish can be calculated.
Using National Statistics comparing wage levels, employment rates and social factors such as housing costs some adjustment is made to increase the Share for “richer” parishes and reduce it for others.
At the moment St George’s has about 200 Regular Weekly Attendance (from the annual count) and the Parish Share works out at about £7 per head per week which is £1,400 per week or about £73,000 in a full year.
At St George's we have always sought to pay our Parish Share in full each year so that we are contributing to the common purse.
We know that in a typical year it costs about £2,600 a week to run St George’s.
The answer is that it all has to come from the money we raise in the parish through our Stewardship programme, collections at services, donations, legacies, rents for the Hall, sales of refreshments, raffle tickets, Christmas Fair and the many fundraising schemes that congregation members organise to raise money for St George’s!
Each pound that we spend comes made up roughly like this:-
Remember - all this has to be found two thousand six hundred times every week!
In a typical year St George’s has an expenditure (and, hopefully, an income!) of about £135,000 which is the £2,600 a week it costs to run St George’s.
As a legal body of the Church of England registered with the Charity Commission, the responsibility for our finances lies with the “Parochial Church Council of the Ecclesiastical Parish of St George, Chorley” (which is what we mean whenever we refer to “The PCC” or “St George’s PCC”).
Members of the PCC are elected by the Annual Parish Meeting which is held every year, usually in late April, at St George’s Institute. All members of the PCC are “Trustees” of the charity in the eyes of the law. All PCC members also sit on one of the three committees of the PCC - Ministry and Development, Fabric Committee and Finance & General Purposes.
The Finance Committee includes the Treasurer to the PCC (also appointed annually at the Parish Meeting) and it deals with matters in monthly meetings reporting to the PCC for any necessary approvals on spending and income plans. The day to day administration of our money is then carried out by the Treasurer and the Annual Accounts are subject to audit by an Independent Examiner and approved by the Annual Parish Meeting before being passed to the Diocese and to the Charity Commission.
Our banking cheque accounts are with RBS bank whilst short term reserves are held in the Church of England Board of Finance Deposit Fund with longer term investments in the Church of England Investment Fund. Short term deposits are held to ensure that money is readily available to meet any cash flow needs of the Church and longer term investments are held in the Investment Fund of the Church of England Board of Finance to ensure an appropriate and ethical approach to investing. Reserves are set aside for such things as our Restoration Fund, for routine maintenance work and for maintenance of the Organ as well as for the future development of the Ministry and Mission of St George’s.
Our Church is a family of many talents and there are lots of opportunities for everyone to contribute.
Gift Aiding your donations, if you are eligible to, will add 25% to your gift at no cost to you.
In a typical week we need many hours of help and about £2,600 to run St George’s. That’s a Muckle.
So - What’s your Mickle?
Tony Sanderson, Treasurer