Church of England Diocese of Chelmsford West Hanningfield

URGENT APPEAL TO KEEP OUR CHURCH OPEN

16 Jan 2021, 6:15 p.m.

Dear Village Friends

URGENT APPEAL TO KEEP OUR CHURCH OPEN

The village church, due to no or few services and fundraising events being held in 2020, has seen a 40 percent fall in income.

This has resulted in our inability to fully meet our payment obligation to the Diocese called the “Family Purse” which funds the running of the church and most importantly the clergy. Our contribution due for 2020 was £11,573 but we were only able to pay £6,000 i.e. 52%. Besides this we have our normal running costs to pay: insurance, electricity, water, fire extinguishers, gutter cleaning, lightning conductor inspections etc, not to mention upkeep of the churchyard which alone amounted to £1,356 last year (The Parish Council paid a small grant of £200 towards this).

We are not the only Church in this predicament but West Hanningfield appears to have been particularly affected by the corona virus lockdowns. Out of 18 parishes in the Chelmsford South Deanery, we are number 18 in terms of payments made! A rather embarrassing position to be in.

Our main fundraising activities, Village BBQ, Grand draw and the Carol service, were not able to be run. These can generate £4-5,000 on their own.

Adding the big attendance days for Easter, Harvest Festival and Christmas the absence of donations and income from all these make a big difference to our finances.

The consequence of us being unable to meet our obligation to the Diocese is that we may lose the excellent and stable clergy cover we benefit from at present. We understand that the Diocese is introducing a “Traffic light” system under which those Parishes meeting their obligations will be classed as “green” and thus able to carry on as normal. Those that do not will be classed as “red” and therefore in danger of losing their clergy. That is the clear threat we now face.

Thanks in large part to the generosity of those supporting the Friends, we have a lovely church building with a sound roof and soon to be a safe tower once the belfry is repaired and the bells are rehung after safety concerns leading to their removal.

All this is to no avail if our church is closed down because we no longer have a worshipping community, the ability to hold weddings, funerals and christenings and to provide the pastoral care befitting a Christian community, especially now during the pandemic.

We are therefore appealing to everyone, whether you may have come to the church for services or events or simply like to know that the church is available to everyone in normal times, to consider giving a donation for us to pay this year’s Family Purse of £11,882 and possibly catch up on our 2020 outstanding deficit of £5,573 a target of say £16,000. With about 250 households, it equates to £64 per household or £5.50 per household per month.

Please help if you can by donating to St Mary and St Edward’s Parochial Church Council in whatever way suits you best.

a. directly by BACS transfer as a one-off donation or Standing order to:

West Hanningfield Parochial Church Council

Account 40489883

Sort code 20-19-95

Reference Parish appeal (Add your own name if you wish), or

b. by cheque payable to West Hanningfield Parochial Church Council. Please deliver to our Church Warden Ann Usher at Applegate House, Church Lane or just call her (01245 400532) and she can arrange to collect, or

c. Giving online:

from the 'donate' button on the home page of our part of this website 

I very much hope you can support this appeal.

David Gibson CA

PCC member and

Acting Treasurer

St Mary & St Edward’s Parish Church.