Our Parish Finances
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the finances of many individuals, companies and charities and I’m afraid to report that our parish has not been exempt.
Three years ago I spoke about our parish finances. At that time the parish was running a small deficit but such was the generous response that the following financial year (2018-19) we turned in a surplus of some £8,000. For the financial year 2019-20, which included six months of the pandemic, that surplus turned in to a deficit of £1,200 and for this current year the deficit is predicted to be much, much larger.
The parish depends entirely on the financial support of its parishioners (assisted with a little help from the Government through Gift Aid). There is no other external source of income or financial support, indeed, the parish has to contribute to the support of the Diocese.
On an annual basis, and in round figures, the parish income was:
in 2019 £63,000,
in 2020 that reduced to £52,000
in 2021 is expected to be about £36,000.
Whilst some savings have been made, our expenditure, which covers running costs, the maintenance of the buildings and of the priest, cannot be reduced further. Some non-urgent repairs and upgrades have been put on the back burner but a significant damp problem does have to be attended to at a cost of some £6,000 to £8,000. It looks as if this year we will have a deficit of about £15,000. The parish has only very limited reserves and this level of deficit cannot be sustained.
How to help.
If you don’t already make a regular donation please consider doing so. If you are already a regular giver please consider reviewing it.
The most efficient way of giving is:
Using the ‘Donate’ button on the parish website www.catholicwestbourne.org This gives the option of making one-off or regular payments, and a further option to Gift Aid the donation.
By taking out a Standing Order and Gift Aiding it. Forms can be downloaded here.
As noted above, many individuals and families have been adversely affected financially by the pandemic. But by the same token there are others who have not. Only you will know what you can contribute towards the financial health and stability of the parish. We benefit from the generosity of previous generations – our beautiful church is a gift from the past - and we, the people who belong to this parish community, the people who worship in this church and expect it to be there, have a responsibility to, maintain it and hand it on in turn.
The Finance, Property and Compliance committee ensures the proper running of our finances and properties and that the parish fully complies with matters relating to Health & Safety, Safeguarding and Data Protection. As a registered charity, the parish is fully committed to accountable stewardship, to the health and safety of all who use our church and hall, and adherence to relevant laws of church and state.