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St Thomas' Stockton Heath & St Mary Magdalene

Church Finances

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Financial review for the year 2015

The accounts have again been prepared on an accruals basis and conform to the presentation suggested in the Charity Commission’s guidelines as being the most appropriate for our situation.

Overall, the ‘current’ income of the Parish was £179,476 in 2015 compared to £154,044 in 2014. ‘Current’ after stripping out from the total of incoming resources – see page 3 of the Financial Statements - the grants received and the VAT recovery associated with funding the preparatory refurbishment work for the tower, kitchen and toilets. These figures include the amounts raised through fundraising and donations by an exceptionally successful appeal to pay for the hanging of the bells. This appeal brought in £5,984 in 2014 and £28,375 in 2015, almost entirely from our congregations. Without this exceptional item the ‘current’ income would have been £151,101 in 2015 and £148,060 in 2014 – a rise of 2% which indicates that the bells appeal has been very much additional giving by our congregations.

Planned giving at £62,516 was up once again by 4% as it was last year, with gift-aided tax recovery on the planned giving rising from £11,915 in 2014 to £13,022 in 2015. Other sources of income held up well. Hall hire income from St Mary’s and the Church Hall brought in over 18,000 up nearly 8% on 2014 and a considerable increase in the number of funerals and weddings in church increased fees collected from £5,158 in 2014 to £7,174 in 2015.

‘Current’ expenditure, which excludes from total ‘resources expended’ spending on major redevelopment and refurbishment of buildings - see page 4 of the Financial Statements – at £137,657 was virtually the same as in 2014. Inevitably there were increases in Parish Share (3%) and the maintenance and running costs of the buildings, but also compensating reductions in the running costs of services.

As in 2014 the parish has continued in 2015 funding a growing programme of mission and evangelism through nurture groups and has also sent £14,320 to charities as outward giving What is very encouraging is that on a day-to-day, ‘current’ basis, which includes the funding of our clergy through Parish Share, the Parish generated a surplus of £13,445 (not counting the Bells donations and fundraising) to contribute towards further improvements of our fabric so that we have buildings fit for purpose.

Although at the end of 2015 our current assets, mainly cash in the bank, are recorded in the accounts as £118,415 compared to only £35,468 at the end of 2014 – see page 2 – this is not a time for complacency as the great majority of this money is accounted for by the Heritage and Lottery Fund grant and funds the Parish is holding for the bells and the tower refurbishment projects underway as the year ended. The total cost to be met in 2016 of these two related projects will be in the region of £280,000 with £175,000 still outstanding at the end of 2015. The tower costs will largely be funded by a further grant from Heritage and Lottery Fund, and the Bells by offers of grants from Diocesan Guild and Cheshire Guild of Bell ringers, Historic Cheshire Churches, the National Churches Trust and the Sharp Trust.

To close on an optimistic note, uncharacteristic of prudent treasurers, I’m confident the Parish will still be solvent at the end of 2016, although delays in recovering the VAT, as a result of the Listed Places of Worship Grants Scheme dragging its feet in reimbursing the Parish, may well create temporary liquidity problems as the true cash reserves of the Parish are very modest.

Peter Chapman (PCC Treasurer)

Download the Financial Statements for 2015