The Need to Receive 

John-Henry Liepe
Church Treasurer

We are told that the Lord loves a cheerful giver and the churchwardens and recorder have written a jolly piece to encourage all church members to think positively about our forthcoming stewardship campaign. They have emphasised that as Christians we have a need to give. As treasurer, I write about the present need for St Michael’s to receive. The financial situation is challenging (which is today’s media-speak for difficult and unsustainable in the longer term).

Income & Expenditure

In the three years since our last campaign (2012-14) our core expenditure has continued to increase, largely driven by inflation, which has driven cost increases of about 10%. 

Meanwhile the giving through standing orders and envelopes (our two giving schemes) has fallen.  The figures for 2014 were 14% down on 2010 and (very concerning) 11% down on 2013, with the current trend for 2015 pointing towards even further reductions.




Change 2012 to 2014 Down Up by around 10%

With a building as old, large, and beautiful as St Michael’s will always make financial demands.  We have long known that we should be setting aside, a substantial amount, say £30,000 a year, for building expenditure, but we have never really done it with nothing set aside over the past three years.

Although, to meet safety standards, we have spent a lot of money in the crypt, expenditure on building work in the last three years that is required to meet on-going maintenance of the building has been very limited and only a small fraction of the estimated long-term annual average need of £30,000.

So it is not a matter of all our money going on the building. We have been maintaining all the aspects of our worship and church life. We have spent on improving the audio system and updating the visual image of the church.  We want to spend on enlivening the notice board system in the porch and west end.


We believe we have about 350 “giving units” in our congregation – families, couples, or single people. Too few of these are committed to our giving schemes. Receipts through these giving schemes are key for making the most of what is received through the additional amount that can be claimed through Gift Aid and also to enable us to plan based on regular and predictable income.

January 2012

January 2015

Standing order givers 171 130
Envelope givers 44 45

In the last year alone, we lost 18 givers from the standing order scheme.  So while the wardens are right to major on giving, I, as treasurer, want to let you know that, this time, the need for receiving is very great and crucial to meeting the long-term needs of maintaining our Church building and serving our parish in various ways.  We must all pray for a really big response to the campaign.
John-Henry Liepe, 21/05/2015