Giving is a fundamental concept of the Christian faith: God’s giving of his Son, and the Son’s giving of his life for the world. The Sacrament of the love of God is celebrated here at St Giles’ for our life and the life of the world; and at its heart are the words that proclaim the self-giving of God. We in turn are called to a life of generous giving – of our time, our skills and our money.
We ask you to reflect and pray as you consider your giving. If you are already making regular donations and your finances allow it, perhaps you may give more.
Harvest Letter 2016
As in previous years, we are writing at Harvest time to everyone on the St Giles’ Electoral Roll. We do so firstly to express our heartfelt thanks for everything you have contributed to the church over the past year, whether practically or financially. Secondly, we take this opportunity to ask for your continued financial support for St Giles’ in the coming year. St Paul reminds us that, when it comes to harvest time, those who have sown generously will also reap generously. He encourages us to give cheerfully and ungrudgingly to express our thanks to God for His unfailing generosity.
By supporting St Giles’ financially, we help to provide our church with the resources it needs to promote its mission and ministry. This is not just a matter of maintaining the fabric of the building, but also of enabling St Giles’ to do what it is there for – to function as a centre of worship for those in the existing congregation and to reach out to welcome those in the wider community.
Funding the many activities which give life to the church involves a heavy financial commitment. The church’s expenditure last year amounted to more than £219,000, which works out at the sobering sum of £600 per day. Our Treasurer advises that, in the current year, expenditure presently exceeds income, so leading to a reduction in the church’s reserves. Giving by those in the church community plays a vital role in raising the money needed to meet expenditure and keep the church’s finances on a sound footing.
Last year saw a fall of just over £600 in the amount which St Giles’ received in gift aided donations. While it is good to note that the fall was more than offset by an increase of over £2,000 in cash donations made through the collection baskets and wall safe, the overall increase in the amount of direct giving to the church was still outpaced by the increase in its expenditure, which went up by more than £6,000 over the year.
Much work will be needed in the years ahead as a result of the five-yearly inspection carried out in 2015 and the draft Strategic Plan which the church architect prepared subsequently in consultation with the PCC. For the immediate future, the PCC has approved three particular projects which would be greatly assisted by money given by members of the church community. These are:
Replacing the existing pews in the church. The current pews are not appropriate to St Giles' and some of them are in very poor condition. Replacing them with new pews or chairs would allow the church to be used more flexibly for worship and other activities and make the experience more comfortable for those attending.
Installing wood-panelled storage units in the north and south aisles to replace the present dilapidated cupboards and remove some of the clutter in the aisles and space under the tower.
Upgrading the present electrical installation to improve capacity and flexibility.
These new projects provide us with the chance to reflect on whether it may be the right time to increase the level of our giving to St Giles’. If it is a while since you last reviewed the amount you give to the church, it is worth bearing in mind that, even in a period of relatively low inflation, rising costs can quite rapidly erode the value of a regular donation which is not adjusted to match increases in the cost of living. The following table shows the amount by which a monthly gift of £40 in 2000 would need to have been increased in subsequent years to keep pace with inflation.
It is also worth bearing in mind that the church’s expenses have a tendency to rise at a faster rate than inflation.
While financial support in any form is greatly valued, giving by standing order is particularly helpful, since it enables the church to budget for its future spending with greater confidence. At present, there are 47 individuals who give by standing order. It would be wonderful if we could increase the number to 50 this year to reach the target set by the stewardship committee in 2014.
Please remember that, if you are a UK taxpayer, you are probably eligible for Gift Aid. By completing a Gift Aid declaration to go with a standing order, or filling in the declaration on the yellow envelope, you can ensure that the church receives an extra 25p for every £1 you give at no extra cost to you. Last year, St Giles’ was able to reclaim tax of more than £15,500 on money given by donors who had completed the necessary Gift Aid donation.
You may also like to take this opportunity to think about remembering St Giles’ in your will. By leaving a legacy to the church, you can ensure that the support you are providing to the church during your lifetime can continue after your death. As St Giles’ is a charity, a legacy to the church will be exempt from any inheritance tax which is payable on your estate. More information about legacies is contained in the enclosed leaflet.
We are also enclosing with this letter a copy of the question and answer sheet which we sent out with last year’s letter. We hope you may find this helpful in thinking about your giving to St Giles’ in the year ahead.
With blessings to you at this Harvest time.
Cath Urquhart, John Marshall, Malcolm Waters
The Stewardship Committee
This is our preferred way for you to give, and the Stewardship Committee’s target is to increase the number of people paying by Standing Order by 15%.
By knowing what is coming in regularly, outgoings can be met more easily, with bills paid and improvements planned with confidence.
Please set up a Standing Order if you possibly can (if you haven’t already done so). You can set up a Standing Order using online banking, or use a Standong Order form available from church or the parish office. You can also download one - see below
Bank Account details:
Account Name: St Giles’ Cripplegate Church
Account No: 46985867
Sort Code: 56-00-23
If you have an existing Standing Order, as the costs of keeping St Giles’ open and running only go upwards, we urge you to increase your giving if you can.
These are provided in the pews for cash or cheque donations. If you pay tax, complete the envelope fully so that we can reclaim the tax you have paid via the Gift Aid scheme.
If you are a UK taxpayer your donations may be eligible for Gift Aid, whereby for every £1 you give us, we can reclaim 25p from the tax you have paid. And it doesn’t cost you a penny. All you have to do is fill in a Gift Aid declaration form, available in church or from the parish office. It can also be downloaded - see below
Thank you to all who gift aid their giving. We have received £7146.11 tax refund for January to June 2016.
Please consider making a bequest to St Giles’ Cripplegate in your will. We will use legacies to fund significant projects in the Parish. Since circumstances change over the years, you are encouraged to leave a legacy for the general purposes of the Parish.
ALL FINANCIAL INFORMATION YOU GIVE US IS TREATED IN CONFIDENCE
Where to visit us:-
St Giles' Cripplegate Church
London EC2Y 8DA
Registered Charity Number 1138077
Services and church opening hours
Thursday 25 May Feast of the Ascension
08.30 Holy Communion
Communion (First Sunday in the month)
10.00 Parish Eucharist
16.00 Evening Prayer
Evening Prayer may be cancelled on the Sunday after Christmas and on Easter Day or during August. The service may also be cancelled if no key holder is available or it may take place in the Rectory instead.
08.30 Morning Prayer (Monday-Thursday)
Monthly Private Prayer and Reflection
These sessions are held on the first Thursday of the month., from 13.00-13.30.
Dates for future sessions 1 June, 6 July. There is no session in August
These sessions are normally held on the first Thursday of the month from 13.30-15.00. Some gentle cleaning and tea and cakes at the end.
Dates for future sessions
1 June, 6 July. There is no session in August
The church is normally open from 11.00-16.00 Monday to Friday.
Parish Office Opening Hours
Tel: 020 7638 1997
The Parish Administrator is on annual leave until Thursday