FUNDING the MISSION – AN INTRODUCTION

A new campaign began at the start of Advent 2016, the beginning of the Church’s year, and it continues through the winter until Palm Sunday 2017. As we had previously discussed at the Parish AGM, despite our apparent wellbeing we have some significant financial issues specific to buildings, which need to be addressed.

After the first weekend Mass at each church, we heard one of our parishioners talk about the campaign, and there were reminders and updates given throughout. Every member of the parish received a leaflet explaining the reasoning behind the appeal. There was also an information point after Mass at each church, where volunteers enabled people to find out more details.

Our undeniably beautiful buildings seem integral to our identity as a parish, but if we want to continue to maintain them in the years to come, we will need to fund them accordingly.

Raymond Twohig, Chair of Finance,
Simon Fletcher, Chair of All Saints PPC.


Here is the text of the main introductory leaflet,
distributed 
to all parishioners at the beginning of Advent 2016:

funding-the-mission-booklet-cover-151116Our parish is a vibrant, diverse and joyful Catholic Christian community. We live in a beautiful part of the country and furthermore, we are blessed with three beautiful churches.

Following the Parish Survey last year, the Parish Pastoral Council – supporting Fr Mark – have been working hard to move our parish forward. We should all by now have become aware of the changes being introduced in response to the ‘Big Six’ survey concerns – welcoming, caring for each other, children and young people, how we worship, how we grow in faith, and funding the mission. However, as recently explained at the Parish AGM (and in our Annual Report), despite our apparent wellbeing, we have some significant financial issues specific to buildings, which this leaflet seeks to address.

Our income last year, in other words the money we as parishioners directly contributed, amounted to around £75,000. The parish also has some diminishing income from investments, currently of approximately £14,000. Our basic day-to-day running costs, however, came to nearly £85,000 and from this it is apparent that in financial terms we just about break-even.

This might seem a satisfactory ongoing situation, but our three churches and their presbyteries are all older buildings and we are now beginning to make significant inroads into our investments in order to fund repairs.

Rather than continue to tackle these challenges as unforseen events, surveys have been commissioned of all our buildings. As a result of these it has become clear that we will need to find on average an extra £30,000 per year over the next ten years (or in overall terms we need a total income of £105,000 per year), to enable us to fund their maintenance and repair.

From this and other information and from estimates of parishioner numbers, it appears that the average parishioner currently gives around 80p a day to the parish, whereas to meet likely future costs, this average person will need to give £1.20.

Of course the reality is that there is no average parishioner, and we do not keep detailed statistics. It is certain that there will be those among us who are able to give considerably less than our fictitious average parishioner. Equally perhaps, there will be others who, becoming aware of this financial shortfall, are in a position to give more. The figures here are simply set out as reference points by which we can each take an informed view of what we need and are able to give.

Our undeniably beautiful buildings seem integral to our identity as a parish, but in objective terms they are by no means all essential to our mission or the way we worship. If we want to continue to own and maintain them in the years to come, we will need, both collectively and individually, to fund them accordingly.

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We hope that by reading this information you will find yourself able to make a more informed decision about how much to contribute to the running of our parish. Please consider whether you can respond by giving more. If together we are able to do so, we will be in a much better position to deal with the financial challenges ahead.

What do I do now if I want to change the amount I give?
If you are giving by Standing Order, please contact your bank and instruct them accordingly. If you are giving using weekly envelopes, or by direct cash in the plate, simply alter the amount you put in. In all cases you don’t have to tell us, but it does help if the Parish Secretary knows that an increase or decrease is a planned decision on your part.

What about Gift Aid?
If you pay income tax, the parish benefits greatly if you sign a Gift Aid form. Most people who give by Standing Order or envelopes have already signed one. If you change the amount you give, there is no need to sign a Gift Aid form again.

Shouldn’t the amount I give be a private matter?
Absolutely. When you give under Gift Aid, you are given a number, and all transactions are recorded against that number. The Parish Secretary and the Chair of the Finance Committee, who are responsible to the Diocese for reporting figures, are the only two people who see the detail.

I still have some questions. Who can I ask?
After every Mass for the next few weeks, two of our fellow parishioners will be available to provide you with more information. Firstly, they will be able to supply you with a leaflet with more answers. They are not experts but they can also refer any more detailed questions on to the Parish Secretary, or help you to arrange a short meeting with her if needed.


You can download a copy of the leaflet here

 

STANDING ORDER and GIFT AID

In response to enquiries from parishioners, and for easy access, we are putting copies of two key forms online on this page.

The Standing Order ‘form’ enables you to gather all the information you need in one place, prior to either setting up payment online or in your local branch.

giftaidThe second form enables you to Gift Aid any donation you give either by standing order or envelope. Gift Aiding makes a big difference, allowing us to claim the basic rate of tax on contributions received. It means we can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. When you complete a Gift Aid form, you are not committing to paying a specific amount every week/month, you are just authorising the Diocese to reclaim tax on whatever you do give. You can find out more about Gift Aid here on the GOV.UK website.

When you give under Gift Aid, you will be given a number, and all transactions are recorded against that number. The Parish Secretary and the Chair of the Finance Committee, who are responsible to the Diocese for reporting figures, are the only two people who see the detail.


Standing Order Form

Printing off and completing this form will give you all the information you require to set up a standing order, either by visiting your branch, or completing a request online.

A standing order (or a standing instruction) is an instruction a bank account holder (“the payer”) gives to his or her bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals to another’s (“the payee’s”) account. The instruction is sometimes known as a banker’s order. (Source: Wikipedia).

Gift Aid Form

Click on the above link to download and complete a copy of the Gift Aid Declaration. You will then need to return it to the parish office, either directly, or via one of the volunteers at the information point after the weekend Masses at church.

If you are posting your Gift Aid form in, the address is: Parish Secretary, Our Lady and St Patrick RC Church, Glendaragh Road, TEIGNMOUTH, Devon TQ14 8PH


Both these forms are also available in hard-copy from the volunteers at the ‘Funding the Mission’ information points at each of our three churches, after the weekend Masses.

FUNDING the MISSION – FURTHER INFORMATION

funding-the-mission-booklet-cover-151116The additional information on this page assumes you have already read the booklet ‘Funding the Mission’ which has been widely distributed and can be read online here.

You can also download a copy of this information in leaflet form here

Our Appeal will run from the First Sunday in Advent to Palm Sunday 2017. This is a long time. We hope that many parishioners will be able to respond promptly, but experience shows that it is necessary to give some people a chance to reflect on what they want or are in a position to do.

Thank you for all that you give to the parish – not just in money but more importantly by your prayers and active witness to the faith that we share. That may be by attendance in our parish churches, but it may also be at home or perhaps in carrying out other work in the community.

This Appeal is largely aimed to secure the future of our buildings. They give us a place to come together to worship, and a focal point from which many other parish activities can flow.

How big is our parish community?
About 320 people can attend Mass across our three churches, and there are also housebound people whom Eucharistic ministers visit. The number of baptised Catholics within our parish boundaries is probably several times that figure. You will know that we have particularly large numbers at Christmas and Easter when families are together and many people choose to attend Mass.

How many parish buildings are there?
Principally there are our three churches – Our Lady and St Patrick in Teignmouth (OLSP), St Agatha in Dawlish, and St Ignatius in Shaldon. Each of these has a presbytery. St Agatha also has a church hall with a car park. The last few years has been dominated by the re-ordering project at OLSP. However maintenance works have also been regularly carried out at the other two churches. OLSP and St Agatha were both built over 100 years ago, and are grade 2 listed. The location of St Ignatius means it also has sensitive planning features.

How does the parish look after them?
There is a buildings committee which is a sub-committee of the Parish Pastoral Council. This is currently being re-formed. It is supported by an independent chartered building surveyor, and it can get more general advice from the Diocesan Property Manager. We recently commissioned a survey of the buildings. This shows expected maintenance costs for the short, medium (2-5 years) and long (10 years) term. There are a number of uncertainties and many estimates and assumptions, but the general message is that over the next decade our maintenance costs are going to be substantial, perhaps as much as £300,000 (OLSP £55k, St Ignatius £50k, St Agatha’s £195k). This is mainly because of the age of the buildings, but also because we have to respond to changes (for example there is a proposal to let Dawlish presbytery which will first need significant renovation).

How much money does the parish currently have?
The parish accounts are published each year, and you may remember that for the last few years our annual income has managed to pay our annual costs, but the surplus has been small. This is before taking account of major buildings maintenance costs, broadly ranging in recent years from £10,000 to £50,000. These costs have been paid for out of our savings (‘Reserves’) which are therefore rapidly reducing. At the financial year end March 2016 we still had reserves of about £400,000. These are held in income bearing investments, so as we spend them, our annual income also reduces. Some investments are for specific purposes.

So what should we do, and what is the target?
There is no immediate problem. We can continue for a while to run our parish and maintain our buildings. However if we have to spend the sort of money that we have in the past and that the Survey predicts as continuing, at some point in the next 10 years we will run out of money. Our predecessors created funds to enable our current community to worship and spread the gospel. We in turn owe it to our successors to ensure that we pass on that position as well as we can. The Diocese kindly gave us £300,000 towards our re-ordering costs, so it is unlikely they will be able or think it fair to give us more money if we run out. If we are to pay for these building costs, then basic arithmetic suggests we ought to aim to increase our resources by about £30,000 a year (making £300,000 over 10 years). That is a huge increase from our present position as outlined opposite and below. Nevertheless we must start with that as a target, and if it is not achievable in the appeal this winter, let us at least take a major step towards it.

How do the Giving figures look at present?
In the last financial year:

  • 114 people gave £39,000 by bank standing order or by envelope; that is £6.58 per person per week, or 94p per day. Many of these give on behalf of family members who are also present, so it is not practical to say how many of the 320 those two groups represent
  • we also received £22,000 from the loose collection (number of donors unknown)
  • as a result of many of the above being tax payers, we recovered Tax of £14,000
  • that makes a total income of £75,000 [39+22+14].

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When you complete a Gift Aid form, you are not committing to paying a specific amount every week/month, you are just authorising the Diocese to reclaim tax on whatever you do give. Nevertheless most people (particularly of course those who pay by bank standing order) decide on an amount and pay it every time.

It may be that many of us have not changed our regular payments for a number of years. We are all grateful to those who maintained their level of giving despite the recession of 2008 and the subsequent difficult economic times. However now may well be the time for us all to review our level of giving.

Raymond Twohig,
Chair of All Saints Finance,
2 November 2016.

This appeal is focused on regular annual giving. There are also parishioners who give by means of a legacy on their death. If you want to find out more about this, please ask one of the volunteers at Mass how to get the relevant information…