Your donation matters - read on to see how you can make a difference...
Click on the image of the church that you would like to donate to, to be taken to their online giving page:
There is no denying that our lives have changed, and will continue to change. We are in strange times, when many normal things have had to evolve and we are finding ourselves having to make decisions, adjustments and compromises that most likely would never have arisen if it wasn’t for the current pandemic.
We are acutely aware of the variety of different situations that our congregations and communities are finding themselves in currently: some may be making financial savings in this new way of life, whereas others may have lost large parts of their income or be facing the risk of unemployment.
This message is sent with genuine empathy towards the plethora of difficult emotions being experienced; anxiety, stress, isolation, bereavement and mourning, to name but a few. We as a collective Ministry Team want to continue offering pastoral and spiritual guidance to you and the wider community during this time. We are in this storm together and need to support one another with faith, hope and love.
As always, we continue to be extremely grateful for all the gifts people give to our churches.
Many may be aware of this scene from 10 years ago, when St Mary’s church was ravaged by fire as the result of an arson attack.
This kind of devastation highlights how having up to date and relevant ecclesiastical insurance is absolutely paramount for the rebuilding of such a beautiful building; how the regular inspections and remedial works continually undertaken ensure our churches remain safe, secure and visible reminders of the Lord’s presence within our daily lives.
We have to protect and care for our buildings if we are to ensure their future within our town for generations to come. Never before have our churches been forced to remain closed in this way; never before have we needed you so much, to step in as guardians of these magnificent pieces of architecture, the visible symbols of our faith and its ability to carry us through this unprecedented time.
Normally each church’s income has a number of components, many of which have been affected enormously since the pandemic arrived:
- Giving by regular church members: this may be by standing order, direct debit, the envelope scheme or by cash or cheque.
- Income from collections: at weddings, baptisms, funerals and other special services.
- Fees for Weddings, funerals in church and burials in churchyards: the fees are set nationally, and we receive no fee for baptisms or for funerals at the Crematorium;
- Fundraising and Social events: some of these attract the most income from regular worshippers, others from wider members of the community.
- Hall Lettings (and in some cases, the church building): some income is from church, others from the community, and a small number from commercial organisations.
- Gift Aid Tax Refund: on money donated by taxpayers and on small donations (under £30)
Under the restrictions of the lockdowns that have been imposed (and quite possibly for some time to come), our churches’ incomes have been severely and negatively impacted.
While our buildings were closed, there were no regular services and also no baptisms, weddings or funerals in church; the local church received no fees from the only funerals permitted during the lockdowns, which took place at the graveside or crematorium.
As these and all other services were not taking place, we lost collection income too and as our giving went down, so did the amount we could claim through Gift Aid. In addition to this, we had no income from Hall lettings and virtually if not all Fundraising and Social events ceased.
While our churches were closed due to Covid-19, thankfully we were spending less on energy consumption for heating, lighting and water; evidently we were not spending on bread, wine, candles, and little on paper and other consumables, and so far (luckily) we have had little call on resources to repair and maintain the buildings.
even now that our churches have reopened for communal worship, attendance is still (understandably) very low, collection funds are not much higher, there are minimal if any fees coming from weddings or baptisms and many paying groups have not yet come back to our church halls, if indeed they return at all.
- We still have to pay for insurance
- We still have to pay fixed energy costs
- We still have to have safety and electrical equipment inspections.
- We still have to pay our contribution to the cost of ministry.
We fully understand that some people will not be in a position to give financially at this time, but if you feel able to support our churches through this challenging period, please see the following options:
Gift Aid: If you are a UK tax payer, we can claim extra money from the government for your gift. Many of you will already have signed a gift aid declaration, but if anyone would like to, please ask us for one. It increases at no cost to you, and with no other administration from you, the value of your gift.
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(For details of where to post/deliver donations or who to make cheques payable to, please click here)
--- We are actively inviting creative ideas regarding fundraising during this time - do you have any ideas about what we could do to raise money while socially distanced? Perhaps you'd like to host an online quiz, or maybe you could help organise a virtual/distanced clothes swap or have an unwanted item to donate/auction in order to raise some funds for the church?
All ideas welcome; please email MindfulMarchMinistry@outlook.com with any suggestions.
--- Join in our weekly Zoom services and support our Ministry Team;
--- Follow us on Facebook and like/share our Online Giving post links to your friends;
--- Pray! Please continue to include our churches, clergy, congregations and community in your prayers.
...to all those who are giving to our churches currently, either financially or by giving of their time/resources to volunteer during this time - we are greatly indebted to you and hold you all firmly in our prayers.