James gave his first Renewal of Giving report in adverse circumstances. 2018 was a memorable year for St John’s – for all the wrong reasons. Our membership fell, and with it our income. In addition to those who died or moved away, we saw six people respond to the opportunity to join the new Pattern Church. This is an investment in evangelism in Swindon even though it constitutes a loss for us.

James started with some bad news. In 2018 our offerings, which we budgeted at a total of £108,000 at the beginning of the year, in the end amounted to c£100,000. Looking forward into 2019, without a Renewal of Giving, we were projecting a gap of £12,000 between income and expenditure for the year. That is a very significant sum. In the event, the Renewal of giving changed the picture a bit.

Of those people to whom we sent cards:

  • 6% were people who had never given before and promised to do so
  • 22% were people who had increased their giving
  • 36% remained the same
  • 10% needed to reduce their giving
  • 26% did not respond

In financial terms:

  • New giving will provide £2,000
  • Increased giving meant a rise of £6,000
  • We lost £4,000 through reductions in giving.

This provides a full year forecast income of over £96,000; an uplift of around £3,500 (noticeably more than inflation).

We have reserves to manage the future. Urgent repairs to the boiler will cost £4,000 but can be paid for from the Fabric Fund. We can hold our course and pursue the direction the PCC have set out.

We will continue to maintain our support for our mission partners and will be giving 11% of our offerings away.

So, against a darker background than normal, James pointed out that beating inflation at a time of great uncertainty in our nation is still a cause for celebration. Thank you to all those who responded. It’s not too late to contact James should you feel able to confirm your giving for 2019. The higher the response rate, the more confidence we can have over our forecast income.

Do look out for envelopes in the church foyer. Where you have requested information or forms from James to help you with your giving, this information is all ready for you to collect.

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