Church halls project
During last winter, we discovered that significant work to replace the roof on some of the church halls needed to be done urgently following storm damage and much temporary work over the years. The PCC made the decision to incorporate solar panels to the work, as part of our ongoing efforts to reduce our carbon footprint as a church.
We are now fairly sure that the work on the Hall Roof will begin on 3rd August. We have been told that this work will last for about six weeks. The good news is that, as a result of your generosity and a small amount of creative accounting, we are confident of being able to pay for this work. Several grant-awarding bodies have also responded positively to our applications and thanks are due to Mike Moss and to Julie Rainer for their work in submitting these applications.
Mike’s most recent set of figures and comments read as follows :
- Fabric Reserve £59,100 (this includes the Gift Day money)
- General £21,350
- Diocesan Grant £ 2,000
- Shipley Grant £ 5,000
- Bernard Sunley Grant £10,000
- Promised £ 2,000
- Spare in Bank £ 5,000
- Vodafone Rental £ 9,500
- Gift Aid £ 500
Other sources (will need repaying)
- Youth Fund Loan £11,000
- LOC Fund Loan £ 3,500
- Mission Fund Loan £ 9,235
So we could pay out up to £138,185
The current quotation is £83,500 + VAT roofing (£100,200) + £25,000 Solar panels = a total of £125,200.
I suspect we will have to pay the architect an amount which could be as much as £5,000 but I still think we can achieve this. We still have at least three grant applications outstanding and I would be relatively hopeful of something from each of them which I hope will at least cover the £15,000 we are borrowing from other funds and maybe a bit more to give us some more towards the share.
It is worth pointing out that I have been putting away between £4000 and £6000 a month from the excess money we have at the end of the month and we will have July and August so potentially another £8,000 will be available.
We have a good God but that doesn’t mean we stop fund raising! I would love not to have to borrow from the restricted funds and retain as much as possible of the general fund £21,000 to pay towards the share. Mike
Even before we became aware of the need to do the work, the PCC had begun to talk about the need to consider our use of our church halls, which are a major asset, and whether we were stewarding them in the best way and providing the maximum service to our community through the way we use the space. This work had not begun in earnest before the pandemic but a clear vision now for the future of the halls and how we use our buildings as whole could be a great tool in inspiring folk to give even more and get involved in making the most of what we have into the future.
Rebuilding our structures
The pandemic has meant that many of the structures we took for granted and which kept our church family life together have ceased and rebuilding the right structures now will be a key part of building for the future. A church the size of St Peter’s requires a huge amount of volunteer effort (and an enormous number of rotas!) to operate. Much of what we had has fallen away over the past 18 months and even running the minimum of 3 short services a week has relied heavily on the staff team, which is not sustainable into the future. As we consider the work God is calling us to now as a church, there is an urgent need to think about what we will need to deliver that work and how we will find, train and organise the right people into the right parts of the body of Christ to get us back to full health and strength as a community.
Future of worship
Changing worship patterns significantly is a complex and tricky thing to do and can cause a great deal of hurt for many years if not handled sensitively and prayerfully. While we are acutely aware of this, the rare opportunity to rethink everything we do is in front of us now and we must consider what we have learnt during the pandemic through the changes which have been forced upon us and consider together what God is saying to us now about how we should be worshipping together into the future. Our instinct is to keep changes fairly minimal until September, in line with the government’s roadmap for removing restrictions slowly and cautiously over the course of the summer. However, we all need to be contributing to how we think God is calling us to worship together into the future.
Generosity and giving
As well as the need to raise a significant amount of money to fund the roof work, we need to continue to raise funds to support our ongoing work and to contribute towards the Share we are requested to pay each year to the diocese to fund ministry and mission locally and more widely across the diocese.
The need to change the way we worship during the pandemic has pushed us into discovering new opportunities for providing worship online and for improving the technology we use to support our worship in church. However, to get the most out of this going forward, we would need to spend around £2,000-£2,500 on upgrading and replacing equipment. Any other initiatives we feel called to set up will also have their own financial and people resource needs. All of this is coming at a time when our income has been severely reduced by our inability to achieve any rental funding from our halls. There is a need to consider where we can find the fundraising skills, energy and ability we need now, alonside developing the vision that will inspire people to give generously – of themselves and financially – in response to the call of God.