Letter From The Rector

Below you will find the Rector's Report, presented to the Easter Vestry Meeting on 2nd April 2017, in respect of the 2016 Financial Year. It is also printed in our Annual Report and Financial Statements.

"Only having been with you for a third of the year makes it difficult for me to comment on the past year of 2016. However, by looking at the accounts, I can see clear evidence of improvement in the financial position, both in terms of the general funds available for running the parish and in terms of the funds raised for the new hall.

That said, the general running finances are perhaps a little artificially healthy, given the fact that the largest outgoing, namely a rector’s stipend and associated costs, did not need to be paid for 12 months, almost 8 of which fell in 2016.

Moreover, the outgoings were kept low, thanks in large part to the ongoing committed and entirely voluntary work of a number of dedicated and hard-working parishioners. Generous financial gifts towards the refurbishment of the rectory also allowed it to be made ready for my arrival without creating a large financial burden on the parish. I am most grateful for that and for providing me and Henry a wonderful house to live in. It’s truly amazing what was achieved in the rectory at such a minimal cost to the parish resources.

I note also that a change in the timing of Gift Aid reclaim had a one-off benefit in 2016 and an internal transfer from Graveyard funds to General funds boosted the latter too.

While the future still looks challenging, with close to £100K needed to finish our new hall and with normal general outgoings in future likely to exceed projected income, the financial position on my arrival gives a good solid base from which to work.

I am encouraged by the commitment of you all, by the loyalty shown by so many to their parish church and by the desire of so many to quietly use their time and talents to serve God in this part of his world.

Apart from acknowledging the many hours of diligent work given to us over the past 4 years, by our Treasurer, Helen Coulter and noting all the very advantageous innovations she has made in terms of reporting and recording our finances, all while she hasn’t even been a worshipping member of our church, I don’t intend to single anyone out by name.

Rather, can I simply say thank you, thank you and thank you again to everyone who prayed for the work of God in St John’s, and to everyone who contributed financially and/or through much effort to the maintenance of the parish during the vacancy and to the ongoing health and progress of our church family. No parish can exist without the faithful efforts of all its members.

My hopes in moving the General Vestry Meeting to a Sunday were to give more of you an opportunity to understand and experience the business workings of the church.

At this meeting, you have an opportunity to ask relevant questions about the financial state of the parish and to play a part in the future of the parish, either by standing yourself for one of the positions which need filled, or by voting for the incoming Select Vestry members, or Diocesan Synod members who represent the parish at diocesan level, or Parish Nominators who are tasked with finding a new Rector in the event of a vacancy. It’d be great if all of us took an interest in the running of our church and took our turn at serving in the various positions.

I thank God for bringing Henry and me to minister and live amongst you and for the warmth of your welcome. I also give thanks to God for the opportunity which the new hall will present - I know it’s been a long time coming. I am hugely optimistic about the future, which clearly will have a different feel to the past, though one thing is for sure, God remains faithful and never changes. Our worship of him and desire to represent Jesus here in this place must never change, except to increase."