We handed over the "sermon slot" this Sunday to a team from the PCC, who told us more about how the money we collect at Seal Church is spent and outlined the growing demands on our finances.
If you would like to know more about giving to Seal Church, there is more information on our church website here.
Vanessa Griffiths, our Treasurer outlined the situation in the following talk:
I have been coming to Seal Church for about 12 years now and joined the PCC nearly 2 years ago as Treasurer.
· Basically this role means overseeing the finances of our church.
o I have an enormous spreadsheet where I record money in and out and allocate it to the various bank accounts we hold, making sure everything balances!
o Each year I prepare the year end accounts which are then audited and presented at the annual PCC meeting in April.
o I also hold the cheque book!
· I’m greatly assisted by Mark Turner, who does our gift aid or tax rebate claim twice a year, plus Denise Firth and Sally Bright, who count and bank the money each month.
We’ve taken over Anne’s sermon slot to talk to you on behalf of the PCC about where the money goes - how your current contributions benefit and maintain our church, the projects we need or want to do and how you could contribute further and the different ways to do this.
Firstly, I’d like to remind us of all of what a beautiful church we are!
· By beautiful I don’t just mean all of us (!) but of course this beautiful Grade I medieval building where we all meet together to worship God each Sunday.
· We are a welcoming church and we have a strong sense of being part of our church family, helping each other out when we’re in need but also getting involved in fund raising events for our church.
· We are an active church too and play an important role in our local community; such as The Talking Village at Birch’s and Lavender Fields, Friday Group, Children’s Choir and Music groups, KYN bringing the church and village together.
I’m sure we are all very proud to be part of this wonderful church serving God and our community.
However, it’s not surprising that this church, which nurtures us and our community, also needs nurturing itself. It’s old – over 800 years old in fact - and it needs money spending on it to keep it going; to keep a dry roof (literally!) over our heads!
|I love being in a church which illustrates the finances|
with actual cake, rather than boring pie charts...!
Many thanks to Jenny Elliott - it was delicious!
The costs involved are significant as you would expect; however, before I talk numbers, the PCC want to say A Big Thank you to everyone for all your contributions, both to the finances in whatever way you do this, as well as the many other ways in which you support our church / church community. Your generosity makes our church what it is today and keeps it going.
And one particular way that keeps us going and which we do really well in this church is…..baking cakes!
So how does the cake fit in with finances ? Well, we are using this as a hopefully easy, and definitely tasty way, to show you the main areas of expenditure in 2018.
It cost £ 1,450 per week last year to run our church (including the churchyard, church hall and vicarage); that’s over £75,000 for the year.
So back to the cake, let’s look at how the costs break down:
1. Diocesan Payment or Pledged Offer (which every church in the Diocese pays) was 67% or 3/4 of our overall costs (£47,060). What are we getting for this? Essentially
o it’s Anne i.e. her salary (£21,750), her pension and also the vicarage …. yes she does go home sometimes! That’s nearly 90% of the amount we pay.
o the rest is our contribution to the wider church community; for future ministry (e.g the selection committees which Anne is involved in), training (Nicky Harvey now fully ordained), and to provide other assistance and support as we may need it.
This cost is likely to rise steadily each year
2. Running costs (24% or £18,000) such as heating, lighting but also costs to support the services like the music
Again, these costs are budgeted to rise some of which are specific for 2019 (Anne’s sabbatical) others because energy costs are going up for example.
3. Charitable Giving (7% or £5,500) examples of these are donations to Seal School, Sevenoaks Area Youth Trust, Sevenoaks Christian Counselling
This is an area we are reviewing in our budget as it may no longer be sustainable.
4. Maintenance Projects (6% or £4,800).
These can represent general maintenance as well as major repair works. These may seem quite low but we offset the roof works by specific fund raising ( the successful ‘Folking for the Roof ‘) and also by using funds from the Loan fund (we pay £200 into this fund each month). However, this is one area which is challenging because of the age of the building; t is constantly in need of care and attention and this often involves significant costs. When there’s not enough money we have to prioritise what we can do.
Gesiena, one of our churchwardens, then outlined some of the repair work and projects we plan to do this year - replastering areas around the font and the North Wall and fixing the chandelier and font cover hoists (required because of insurance demands that hoists otherwise need inspecting, with costly scaffolding, every year). We are also planning to install a Tea Station, with washing up and storage facilities, in the North Aisle, and have a grant from Marshall's Charity to help with the cost of this.
Mark Turner, who organises our Gift Aid tax refunds each year told us about the variety of ways in which we can give. You can find out more on the website here, or pick up a leaflet in church.