I hope that by now most of you will have received and read the material in the Planned Giving pack that was distributed to members of the electoral roll, and to those in church last Sunday. There are plenty more packs available in church if you haven’t got one yet. We have been very pleased with the initial response – a number of people have either signed up to Planned Giving this week, or increased their standing orders. This is great news and I hope that there will be many more in the days ahead!
I have been asked by a few people to clarify exactly what is covered by the Common Fund contribution which in 2017 was a substantial £82,250, our largest single item of expenditure. It covers the following items:
Fr Simon’s stipend, his pension contribution, his council tax, (the parish pays his water rates separately), the cost of insuring and maintaining the vicarage where he lives, plus a contribution towards running the diocesan office, clergy training, training new ordinands and their support grants. In 2017 the actual cost of running a parish with one stipendiary priest was £78,300. However, more affluent parishes such as ours are invited to pay a little more, in order to fund other local parishes where it would be quite impossible for them to raise this sum of money themselves. So in 2017 we chose to pay an additional £3,950 towards supporting these parishes.
I am delighted to let you know that we shall be welcoming a priest from one such parish this coming Sunday at our 10.30 Mass. Fr Ben Humphries, Associate Vicar of St Michael & St George on the White City estate will be coming to preach and chat to us over coffee afterwards. He speaks very movingly of the challenges he faces where he works and is looking forward to meeting us.
I hope that all the children in our congregation are now settled back into their schools and the term has started well for them all, especially those who have moved to new schools. Hopefully their families will also have settled back into their term-time routines!
With every blessing