This is the Christmas bumper edition of Focus and as I write, I am finalising all the loose ends for the examination of the church accounts in the preparation of the Annual Report.
It has not been easy since we are now in the new regime called FRS 102. This has a number of new requirements and I am having to determine which ones we have to use, and which ones are outside our scope.
There are two problems in moving to a new regime. One is the format of the information they require. For this I am beholden to the Methodist gurus who have only just prepared a document to follow. I am grateful that it is at last available. But that leads to the second problem. It requires a new set of categories for the main accounts. This may seem straightforward, but the item headings are not as specific as one would like to see and I am having to decide under which heading each of the various figures should reside. I think I am nearly there, but it will mean a conversation with Harry, our accounts examiner, to be sure we have got it correct. However, the one joy is that once we have agreed it for this year, it should be the same for many years to come.
I hope that the finalised Annual Report will be going forward to the January meeting of the Church Council. If it gets approval, it will then be available on the Charity Commission website for anyone to examine.
A very Happy Christmas to you all, and again, thank you for your continued support for the church over the past year. In February I will be able to let you know how the first quarter in the financial year has gone.
Treasurer's Talk NOVEMBER 2017
We have recently had the envelope collection for All We Can (originally the Methodist Relief & Development Fund). To date £440.15 has been given of which £250 is gift aided, adding a further £62.50. This brings the total to £502.65 for which I know the AWC team will be most grateful.
Now I am again preparing the annual report. I have all the figures and am studying and implementing the differences between FRSSE (Financial Reporting Standards for Small Enterprises) from last year and FRS 102 (Financial Reporting Standards) for this and subsequent years. My aim is to have it ready for signature at the January meeting of the Church Council.
The Leadership Team is planning projects for future work around the church. Last month I said that we are budgeting for a deficit of £11,679 and this could occur if we implement the work around the church that is becoming necessary.
We recently had a meeting of the Resources Committee which covers finance and property. It is an important meeting in the life of the church because every project gets an airing and many decisions are made or passed onto the Church Council for approval where required. At the meeting it was agreed that Andrew Jennings would put together an article on handling the recent surpluses on the General Fund and how they would be used to further the life of the church both in its ministry and buildings. Please see the earlier article in Focus.
After all that, I do hope you find refreshment and reward in the activities in the church as the year moves on and I thank you again for your continued financial support in the life of the church.
Treasurer's August 2017 Update
This time last year, I was sitting at my PC on almost the same day thinking about the end of the financial year.. We have just had the Civic Service which was a superb time of celebration and we wish Liz Frost all the very best. The church collection did not suffer from the collection for the Mayor’s charities being at the same time. Over £500, including gift aid, was raised for Liz’s charities, the Sunnybank Trust, Citizens Advice Bureau and the Lower Mole Countryside Trust.
Already £62,818 has been received from external organisations using the premises. This is set against an original budget of £60,000 and a projection of £68,000. It is a valuable source of income for the church and enables so much more to be planned. We are very grateful to Sue Massingham for the care she takes over the room bookings and all the paperwork that is required. To give you an idea of how many organisations use the premises, I co-signed the agreements the other day as a church trustee and there were twenty eight of them. Sue had prepared these and they were all different in some aspect together with a significant number of pages.
We are always keeping a watchful eye on expenditure. The second biggest figure (the biggest is the circuit assessment which is set for the year so won’t vary) is for utilities (gas, electricity, water, cleaning and insurance). Having negotiated an improved gas contract last year, we are seeing the benefits over the past twelve months and we expect to be well under budget.
I spoke about the legacy left to the church by Ms Eileen Wilks last year. We have now received £330,000 of the legacy. The sale of her house has completed and the solicitors are currently sorting out the final payments. This extra funding has enabled the church to employ Chris Shaw as an assistant minister for three years and we are all looking forward to his starting with us on 1st September.
I now get a two month break from writing to you so when I next hit the keyboard it will be around 10th September and I will know the draft results for the year (which closes on 31st August). I hope I will be able to let you know some more good news.
Thank you again for your continued support for the church. We are ministering in exciting times, and we pray for wise use of the resources made available to us.
Treasurer's July 2017 update
We are now nine months through the financial year, so we reach another checkpoint in our finances. The total giving for these months is £83,109.02. This is considerably up compared with the equivalent time last year when the total was £80,902.18, an increase of £2,206.84 (2.73%). If this trend continues, the total for the year should be towards £109,000. I am pleased that we have now sent out the letters to those who gift aid their giving with the total that you have given over the 2016/17 tax year and where relevant the other funds that you have given to as well as the general fund. I went on to the church website the other day and am pleased to see that the church annual report has a link to download so you will be able to read it in its entirety if you have or can obtain access to a PC with internet access. Thank you for your continued giving which enables me to tell of all the good news financially.
Treasurer's June 2017 update
Over the past few months I have been keeping you updated on how the annual report has been progressing. I am delighted to let you know that it has now been completed with the last document arriving from the bank recently. A copy has been placed on the Charity Commission website (see the link on this page). The charity registration number for the church is 1127787. The annual reports for the last five years are then available at the bottom of the screen.
The Easter Offering has been taking place over the past few weeks and £773.23 has been given. Of this £317.70 has been gift aided which will attract a further £79.42, bring the total to £852.65.
Thank you again for your continued financial support of the church and other funds.
Treasurer’s Talk OCTOBER 2017
The financial year closed on 31st August and once again there are many points worth noting.
Giving has increased over the year and totalled £110,783. This is an increase of £3,496 (3.26%) on last year (£107,287) and is once again the highest ever achieved. Thank you.
Recovered tax is £26,042, an increase of 4.9% over last year (£24,826).
Last year 60% of available funds invested in trusts was moved to the Mixed Managed Fund (a Central Finance Board fund which takes advantage of financial market investments). As a result this has created an income of £17,701, an increase of 7.2% over last year’s £15,105.
Income from letting the caretaker’s flat contributed £12,956.
Income from the church organisations is £29,040. This is £840 down on last year.
Income from external lettings is £74,484 which is another increase on last year’s figure of £72.334 (up 2.97%).
The cost of the utilities, £39,690, is now under budget and £2,582 less than last year. We have benefited for a full year at the new lower price for gas.
Maintenance of the premises was just £467 over the £20,000 budget.
The caretakers have been careful to record their time against caretaking and doing work around the church. As a result, their costs have been maintained slightly below last year’s level and further under budget.
The surplus on the General Fund is £33,908. This will be addressed by the church stewards’ team to identify areas where work needs to be done during the coming year.
The cost to run the church is currently just over £5,200 per week.
.For the coming year, a budget has been agreed at Church Council. This is currently showing a deficit of £11,679 which indicates expenditure on new work during the year.Once again, it is with gratitude to God that the church has managed to balance the books for another year. Thank you to everyone who has contributed in so many ways