We completed the first seven months of 2017, i.e. up to the end of July, with a deficit of CHF 3,300. That is not an enormous sum and if the trends are going in the right direction, it can probably be recouped by the end of the year. For comparison, we were showing a surplus of CHF 1,500 at the same time last year.
The trend that concerns me is that giving, whether it be through the collection plate, by pledging, or by gifts, is decreasing. Plate collections are CHF 3,600 lower ; pledges are CHF 4,000 lower. Overall, gifts have remained constant, but that masks the fact that we received a donation of CHF 10,000 towards the youth ministry, the costs of which we knew would increase in the full-year 2017. That donation will not be repeated in the second part of the year.
Otherwise costs are well contained and in some areas, notably accounting, they have been reduced.
As most of you know, our church is completely self-supporting. It is non-profit making. All the money received goes to support the church’s ministry, including a relatively small amount to the charities which we support.
Our budget is CHF 370,000. Over 80% of our income comes from donations. We are very dependent on people’s generosity. Most of the remaining 20% is split between : income from events run by the church, particularly the two Fairs, but supplemented by events run by the social group and a modest income from concerts ; rental income from hiring out our Church and our Hall.
There is no question that the church will not be able to meet its commitments at the end of the year. We have reserves, but our aim is and I think should be to balance our income and our regular operating expenses each year. I would be very happy to explain the figures in more detail to anyone interested. Ursula McGregor is also always available to help people consider the pledge scheme, which helps us to plan expenditure through the year with confidence.