Food Bank

From Mark Fletcher, Treasurer, All Saints, Sherburn in Elmet – but the principle applies to all our churches

Dear Friends

You might be wondering (then again you might not) how the coronavirus crisis is affecting the church's finances.

Up until the end of March, we were pretty much on budget for both income and expenditure. But now of course, with no regular services going on, and any funerals very different from normal, a major income stream for us is cut off, without a balancing reduction in expenditure. We will also lose income through the lack of hall bookings.

One of our largest spends each year is what used to be called the quota, or share, now called the good will offer because we choose how much to send to the Diocese. This year it is £30,000 and it helps pay for the salaries, houses and pensions of incumbents as well as the central functions of the Church of England. The Diocese has issued an appeal to PCCs not to reduce their offer for 2020 if at all possible - they have fixed costs to meet which do not reduce because churches are closed.

I hope I speak on behalf of the whole PCC when I say we are determined not to reduce our contribution. We are fortunate in that we received a large legacy last year which gives us a reserve that will enable us to get through this year, but of course we want to spend as little of that as possible.

What I'm asking you is to think about how you give to the church now.

Many of you already give by standing order and we are grateful for that. Others of you give regularly in the yellow gift aid envelopes that are in the pews each week, or through the weekly envelopes. Both are valuable sources of income: both the cash in the envelopes and the tax I can claim back on your behalf (I've recently made the tax claim for 2019 and it came to more than £7,000 on top of what you gave).

However, with services stopped, we are missing out on that income, and I'm asking those of you who use either the weekly envelopes or the yellow gift aid envelopes to consider changing your giving to online. You can make individual payments, or you can set up a regular standing order to the bank details below. In the short term, switching to online payments will help us through this crisis, and in the long term it will reduce our costs and make gathering our income more efficient.  Our bank details are:

SORT CODE 40-41-45

On another matter, you may know I am a volunteer a member of the management group of the Selby Food Bank. Our wonderful manager, Mark Barnett, very sadly died of Covid-19 last week which is devastating for all of us and the many people who knew him and were helped by him. The food bank is keeping going but stocks are lower than ever with people less able to donate food and online purchasing very restricted.
Our food collection point has moved from the church to the Vicarage porch, and there will be weekly deliveries to the food bank in partnership with Saxton.

However, many of you will find it difficult to get out to buy and donate food so if you want to support the food bank, you can make a financial donation instead. If you make the donation to church using the above bank details, and put 'FOOD BANK' in the reference, I will transfer it on to the food bank's account. We have already sent nearly £300 which is an amazing effort and is hugely appreciated by us all at the food bank.

Thank you for reading this, and let's look forward to the days when we can be together again. Now might be a good time to think of the kind of social events we would like to celebrate the end of lockdown!

Stay safe

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