A Note From the Diocesan Board of Finance
In these difficult times with the closure of public worship, the closure of halls to outside users as well as parish groups and the cancellation of TT, every church on the island is facing a drop in income. Many parishes rely on the success of TT Teas and Church Hall TT Campers etc., to make ends meet and perhaps all rely on a round of social and fund raising events, the hire of church halls etc., as well as, of course, open plate collections – all of which are now lost to us for an indefinite period.
There will of course, be some small savings in terms of heating and lighting and cleaning etc., but these will be tiny compared to the loss of income.
The Bishop as Chair of the DBF wishes to offer some financial reassurance to all of us in these challenging times and has asked me as his Vice-Chair to send out this note.
Whilst we may not be in a position to offer grants to cover lost income, we do accept that you need to know where you stand regarding the Shared Ministry Fund, your assessment and the regular payments we ask of you to enable us to function as a diocese together.
We would expect that the first priority will be for PCCs to pay insurance and utility bills etc.
We would hope that the substantial part of regular and committed Christians’ giving will continue; hopefully, as a result of clear teaching and encouragement a substantial part of that giving is through Standing Orders, and the rest will be committed through Gift envelope schemes which will be offered at a later date when restrictions are lifted. It will be important to appeal to committed members to sustain their giving one way or the other so far as is possible; of course, some parishioners may lose their income and their livelihood.
In due course the DBF will take soundings and ask PCCs to assess what they are likely to be able to pay of their SMF assessment this year, then make decisions based on those facts. It may be that the central Church of England will offer dioceses in extremis some support.
The important thing at this time is to encourage our folk – and to lead by example – to be faithful in prayer and private worship and to make such provision as we can for that and for pastoral care of our most vulnerable parishioners; to be the different church the Archbishops have called us to be at such a challenging time.
With my best wishes,
The Venerable Andrew Brown | Archdeacon of Man
The Archdeacon’s House, 16 Devonshire Rd., Douglas IM2 3RB | 01624 675430