Church of England Diocese of Birmingham St. Paul Blackheath

FINANCIAL UPDATE AND REQUEST FOR HELP FROM ST PAUL'S - MAY 2020

The Vicarage, 83 Vicarage Road, Halesowen, West Midlands B62 8HX

Telephone 0121 559 1000

May 2020

Dear Friends,

St Paul’s financial update

“…all things come from you, and of your own do we give you” 1 Chronicles 29.14

These words, or something similar, are said when a collection plate is offered at a service of worship. They are words that have not been said for a number of weeks as a result of social isolation and lockdown. However, the financial needs of St Paul’s have not gone away and if anything have become more acute. Malcolm our Treasurer offers this assessment of our position,

“The effect on St. Paul’s finances as a result of Social Distancing will be highly damaging, and I need hardly say that the longer it goes on the worse it will get.

St. Paul’s had a deficit of £4500 in 2019 and faces the prospect of this being doubled this year, while Birmingham Diocese faces the prospect of an income shortfall of £1.8 million. St. Paul’s continues to pay £2000 to the Diocese as part of its Common Fund request which will total £24000 this year.

Rental income from the church hall which contributed £10000 in 2019 will be reduced by approximately £1100 per month. This is due to the loss of hiring charges less a saving in cleaning.

The losses began in late March and will go on until the beginning of July at the earliest: three and a half months. However, it’s unrealistic to imagine that things will return to normal as soon as restrictions are lifted.

All users of the Hall involve social interaction to a greater or lesser degree. This is most obvious with the two dance groups. We also know from reports in the media that many people are nervous about leaving the house even when allowed to. I don’t think it’s too likely that any hirers will stop altogether but we can assume that there won’t be a rush when the lockdown is lifted. Therefore, it’s clear that our reduction in income will probably not be less than £5000.

As far as the church is concerned cash collections in church and from the envelope scheme raised £1750 per month in 2019. Although we are certain to lose the cash collections there will be savings in other areas to offset this”.

In the light of this I am asking, if you are able, to make arrangements to send your usual collection offering and any additional financial gift that you may be able to make, directly to St Paul’s c/o The Treasurer, The Vicarage, 83 Vicarage Road, Halesowen, West Midlands, B62 8HX. All offerings received will be passed on, unopened, to our Treasurer to handle.

Thank you for considering this request, do please continue to pray for all charities suffering at this time, and thank you for whatever help you have been able to give.

Food offerings for the Black Country Food Bank and Manna Kitchen can also be donated via the vicarage.

With prayers and every blessing

Revd. Mike Sermon Vicar