Looking after the church’s money
On Sunday 27th November Paul Robbs de la Hoyde explained the financial challenge for the church in 2012. His slides can be found here.
The accounts for 2011 – which have been checked by the independent examiner and approved by the PCC – are available here.
Redundancies at St James
In the Autumn when the PCC looked at the budget for 2012 it was clear that there were significant problems lying ahead. Income had remained more or less the same level as in previous years but costs were growing fast. The gap between income and expenditure at the end of 2012 was expected to be in the region of £14,500. The PCC decided that this was too great and that steps needed to be taken to bring the gap down to zero.
It was agreed to have a target for an increase in giving of £7,000 about 5% of giving and to reduce expenditure by £5,000 (about 3%). The final £2,500 was left to be addressed later in the year.
A great deal of work has gone on over the last couple of years to reduce expenditure. New contracts for gas, electricity and rubbish collection have been negotiated. This has brought considerable savings for the church. Work has also been done to increase income. We had a stewardship campaign a couple of years ago which involved contacting every member of the church. There have also been initiatives like easy fundraising. Neither of these has yet led to any real increase in income but the stewardship campaign coming at the start of the recession may have helped us avoid a decline in income levels.
The reduction in expenditure in 2012 was to be achieved by reducing the money we give to mission agencies bringing it down from 11.5% of the giving to the church to 10%. The remaining element was to be achieved by rearranging the work in the parish office and reducing the caretaker’s hours.
A small group was asked to go away and think through the details. The three existing roles were amalgamated into one new position. A new responsibility to market the church rooms was added in. The new post would involve fewer hours overall and thus represent a saving. The group brought their findings back to the PCC and the proposal was agreed in the Spring of this year.
This was a serious step which the PCC only agreed to with heavy hearts. The ACAS guidance on redundancy procedures was consulted and the options which gave the most opportunity for staff to come to terms with what was happening were adopted. Each of the office staff was given an ‘At Risk’ letter explaining the reasoning and the process that would be followed. A consultation process over just over a month followed.
As a result of this process Elizabeth Doone and Lindsey Ware-Jarrett applied to fill the new post as a job-share and Christine Leng became redundant. The PCC has been very aware through this time of the impact it has had on the staff and would encourage the parish in prayer for them.
Jim Stewart, Steve Keevil & Bruce Williamson