Building Fund Update
After six years of progress, which has seen us spend over half a million pounds repairing and restoring our church building, we have at present come to a bit of a lull. Phases 1-3 have been fantastic as our own fund raising, donations from various families and substantial grants from HLF, Viridor, Garfield Weston,etc has enabled us to bring the church up to a very good state of repair. We now have to maintain the building with regular repairs as required, so that it never falls into the same state again.
However grants are not as easy to come by for small regular repairs as they are for major repairs that are done to save a building before its condemned. So we have to find monies ourselves to maintain the upkeep, on top of paying the regular bills for heating, lighting, insurances, plus many other regular items that a church needs to survive and operate. Communion wine and wafers, postage, phone bills, paperwork etc all needs to be paid for. Cleaning materials, brushes, shovels, dusters, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls are just some of the many items that are taken for granted, but would be missed if they were not in place. Finance is a big problem, and is another reason why bigger and better attendances with realistic and generous amounts on the collecting plate are a must.
If we could improve our income in other ways then, this would ease our difficulties. Making the church more widely available outside of services is one way that could benefit us financially. However we have limitations in our facilities that make this very difficult. We hoped to overcome this with Phase 4 the latest building project that we have undertaken. After a great deal of hard work, and filling in of application forms we have managed to move closer to achieving our target. However we still need another £13,000 to hit the estimated costs of £75,000 plus VAT. We had hoped that The National Churches Trust would have granted us much of that final amount, but once again they have turned us down, as with all our previous applications to them. This is a big blow and when I received their decision at Christmas it knocked me back somewhat.
However it’s new year and we must regain the initiative and pray for Gods help in achieving the final amount. As a certain politician once said “we are all in this together” only this time I actually mean it. The church belongs to us all, and is the responsibility of us all. As most of you will know Phase 4 is to put in place an extra room at the rear of the church which would include a new inside toilet and a new kitchen. With these in place we would have the facilities to offer out to groups such as toddlers, pensioners, etc. We could also open up to choirs or bands, of all types who require a practice venue. We could hold more concerts in church such as the GMP Band and others plus more choral evenings etc. much easier with the better facilities in stead of the very limited ones we have at present.
These would also make the small meeting already created at the front of church more appealing to outsiders. All this extra activity would, even after paying our extra heating and lighting bills, bring in substantial extra funds. This would in turn make our finances healthier, make our position in Aspull more attractive, and all in all be a massive bonus for everyone. The church building could be open seven days a week or certainly 3 or 4 days on top of the Sunday worship.
It is imperative for our future that we find this money and as the grants dry up it once more means that we have to find it ourselves. Our present fundraising events at present go towards the general up keep of and bill paying for the church. Perhaps we should consider this year at least, diverting some of that money towards the building fund. Whilst that’s a consideration it must be weighed up against, in the short term at least, being unable to pay our week to week running costs, especially our dreaded Parish Share.There is no easy answer.
I am still constantly looking for new grant bodies, but it’s proving more difficult all the time. Please give this some thought, and if you can help us find the answer it would be very helpful, as we attempt to overcome this problem. Donations to the fund, sponsored activities towards the fund would all be very welcome.
So that’s it thinking caps on, much prayerful thought, and with your hard work and the Lord’s continued support anything is possible.
David Jones (Warden)