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Quarterly Finance Update Jan-Mar 24

Growing Disciples, Building a Network, Changing a City

 

“…God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” (2 Cor. 9:8 & 11)

 

We always want to discuss our finances in an atmosphere of faith. The above verses speak of God’s promise of provision so that we have what we need to be generous and abound in every good work. Generosity and good work are core values for us at St John’s, and we seek to express them as we engage in disciple-making, building a network, and changing a city.


The table below summarises our year-to-date financial position. We are currently 4K behind where we thought we would be at the end of Q1—the main reason is that our regular giving is lower than we budgeted. Our expenses and other income are roughly on track. I encourage you to pay attention to these numbers, and if you would like more detail, review our annual report (2023 figures) by clicking HERE or ask.


  

We take our responsibility to manage our finances well very seriously. We aim to manage them rigorously and efficiently, ensuring as much of our income as possible goes to furthering our vision and mission.

 

It is a common misconception that Church of England Churches are funded by the diocese. They are not. Most of our funding comes from our members’ regular and one-off giving. We actively seek other funding sources, including grants, legacies, and rental income. We currently also benefit from central church funds as part of our Resourcing Church journey.

 

Our finances are everybody’s responsibility. We have a big vision which we believe God has given us. On Sunday, 30 April, Scott gave a vision update as part of his Sunday talk. We then reiterated this at the APCM. If you haven’t heard this, please do listen to it via our Spotify Playlist—click HERE. Only a move of God will enable us to fulfil this vision. Part of that move is a provision of finance; we trust his promise to provide for those he calls. Please join me in praying in faith for his provision. Frequently, God calls us to be at least part of the answer to our prayers; please continue to consider prayerfully how God is calling you to give.

 

Some churches major on tithing (giving the first 10% of our income to God). We don’t, simply because we believe the New Testament teaching on giving goes beyond legalistic and formulaic giving patterns. The New Testament teaches us that God has lavishly poured his mercy, grace, and love upon us in giving the ultimate gift of his Son, Jesus. There should not be any condemnation or shame about our giving. Instead, our giving is one way we make a heartfelt response to his goodness. Part of the lavish grace given us is to call us to play our part in his purposes. God calls us all to give joyously and sacrificially toward that end according to our capacity to give. We believe God calls us all to give; for some, this will mean giving a small amount, akin to the widow’s mite, which may be an amount a lot less than 10%. For others, he calls us to give a much more substantial amount, which may be more than 10%. Some, I believe, have a particular grace to give strategically and significantly to catalyse and stimulate God’s kingdom purposes.

 

Our personal financial circumstances are constantly changing. Therefore, it is helpful to regularly and prayerfully review your giving to ensure you are giving according to how God is calling you to give and that it is in line with your capacity to give. This is the time of year when many people receive a pay increase, which may increase your capacity to give. Also, if you have recently joined the church and have not yet begun giving to the church, please do so.

 

Some practical considerations:

  • Regular giving is the most helpful form, allowing us to budget and plan.

  • If you change the amount you give, please let us know (email James Banks) so we know about the change.

  • Some people currently give generously but erratically. We encourage you to give via standing order or the parish Giving Scheme again to help us plan and budget.

  • One-off gifts and regular giving are essential to the church’s work.

  • Please click HERE for more information about how to give.

 

We want to be as transparent as possible with our finances, so if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact James or Huw.

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