PCC Appeal Letter March 2015
St Philip and St James’ Parish Church, Alderley Edge
An Appeal for Thanksgiving Sunday
1st March 2015
The lead up to Thanksgiving Sunday is the time of year when we count God’s blessings to us and we reflect on and pray how we can contribute to and take forwards the Lord’s work in this place.
At the start of this letter we would particularly like to express our enormous appreciation of the commitment, engagement, hard work and financial support given by so many members of the church family. It has been very noticeable over the last few years how the involvement in so many areas has increased. As we look around the church we see so much to do but we are achieving and our progress towards the spire repair is but one example.
So this preparation period is about how we can use our personal resources of energy, skill, time and money in the service of Our Lord. As an aid to thanksgiving we find it helpful to discuss the church’s financial position.
In 2014 the necessary expenditure for our church exceeded income by around £10,000. Whereas the PCC tries hard to avoid all inappropriate expenditure, necessary costs such as heating, maintenance and the Parish Share remain serious burdens. The Parish Share rises this year to £82,540 pa an increase of £2,404 or 3%. We have lodged an appeal but the Diocese needs funding somehow. We await the response.
Last year at this time we appealed to the congregation and to the wider parish for an increase in contributions to the Planned Giving Scheme and for new members to join. You will recall how the Planned Giving Scheme facilitates budgeting for the PCC and the optimum collection of Gift Aid.
A year ago we requested an increase of 12% overall to meet the rising costs to the church. 50% of members generously increased their giving and only one person had to reduce. The extra sum pledged was £4,212, a 7% increase, and this is most impressive but it is to be remembered that we are largely a senior group so, sadly, we loose Scheme members during a year and the resulting sums raised are less than those pledged. Thus it becomes progressively difficult to fund the church without new members joining.
So our personal requirements for this year could be considered as:
Leaving a legacy to St Philip and St James’ Church
It is a fact that if those who have their funeral and thanksgiving services at St Philip and St James’ Church were to leave a modest legacy to the church it would very substantially change the financial position of the church. Put it another way, analysis of the trends in the income raised from the Planned Giving Scheme over the last five years suggests that without very substantial numbers of new and younger members joining the Scheme the income raised will be progressively insufficient for the maintenance of the church and steady inroads into the reserves will be required. Where might this lead us in 25 years time?
If we want a parish church in Alderley Edge for our children and our grandchildren a legacy from each one of us is one way we can aim to achieve this. It is also true that how and where we worship and the use church buildings may have to alter.
There is a dedicated Church of England website with information on making and revising Wills and leaving a gift to the Church at www.churchlegacy.org.uk This gives useful information on how to arrange the legacy, advises on forms of wording which can be used and offers the telephone helpline 08445 870875. It is anticipated that such a gift would be exempt from inheritance tax.
Please do give this particular thought.
Finally, it should not be forgotten that in addition to the wonderful support given to the day to day running of St Philip and St James’ Church £69,000 has been raised locally for the Spire Appeal. The help of the Heritage Lottery Fund is gratefully acknowledged but we still need to raise around £40,000 for this appeal.
Thank you very much for all that you do.
Bob Tuffin Stuart Rippon