Donating to St Mary's
Helping St Mary's through the pandemic
Dear Parishioners and Friends,
First of all, I want to thank those of you who have generously donated money towards the £30,000 wall project and the Foodbank.
Wall donations have amounted to £19,000 and with the addition of two substantial legacies making up the difference, the wall can now be repaired. This work should begin after Easter.
However, the parish now needs your continued, careful and considered support. As you know Peter, our caretaker has been on furlough since April. Last week I sadly had to furlough Holly. Holly provides invaluable support to the parish delivering a weekly liturgy of the word to children and providing catechetical support for parents. With Holly furloughed, it means I have to defer First Holy Communion and Confirmation preparation until the autumn. All enquires must now come to me for the time being.
Our main income comes from the offertory collection. Understandably this has fluctuated in the past year. In normal circumstances, on average, our offertory would be £1000 a week. This would typically just meet expenditure. It will pay for utility bills (for example our gas bill averages £465 a month over our three sites), the salaries of three parish workers and our diocesan assessment contribution (on average £2500 per month). It excludes my salary (£8500 a year) which comes from the Easter and Christmas collections as well as funeral, wedding and baptism stipends. I am, of course, making economies wherever possible: you may have noticed that I have switched off outside lights, particularly the “disco colours” above the entrance to the church and reduced other lighting to save money (although security lights and alarms remain on).
Since the pandemic, our offertory income has been less than half the usual level and so we are facing a significant shortfall. We are not alone; every parish has had a deficit. Considering you have raised £19,000 for a wall and consistently donated to the foodbank, I think you have been amazing. However, if you are able to increase your offertory by a fraction, that would help see St Mary’s through the next year. I do not want those of you struggling at this time to feel under obligation to help, only those who might be able to increase their donations. For those who might be able to contribute, please find below a list of ways to donate.
I love being part of St Mary’s for we are a unique spirit-filled prayerful community. Together during the pandemic, we have supported each other, provided food for the vulnerable, and with the help of our wonderful stewards have kept the church open. We have a marvellous future as one large St Mary’s family beautifully diverse and wonderfully creative.
Blessings, Fr Peter.
Ways to financially support St. Mary’s:
BY CREDIT/DEBIT CARD:
You can donate by credit or debit card via our Diocesan website: https://parish.rcdow.org.uk/finchleyeast/donate/
If asked to add a reference, please use ‘Collection’.
BY STANDING ORDER:
If you would like to donate on a regular monthly basis, please consider setting up a standing order via your bank. Contact the parish office to obtain a form.
BY BANK TRANSFER:
You can arrange a bank transfer, either online or in person at the bank. Please instruct your bank to use the following as a reference:
Your surname and your initials, followed by the word “Collection”
e.g. Smith J. – Collection
St Mary’s bank account details are as follows:
Cheques should be made out to “WRCDT – Finchley East” and can be posted to the parish office at: 279 High Road, East Finchley, N2 8HG
-or dropped through the presbytery letterbox with a note saying “Offertory Collection”
MAKING YOUR OFFERING GO FURTHER WITH GIFT AID:
If you are a UK taxpayer, please consider signing up for Gift Aid. Donating through Gift Aid means St Mary’s can claim an extra 25p for every £1 you give. It will not cost you any extra. This is because charitable donations are tax free meaning we can reclaim the tax from the government.
If you would like to find out more, please contact us
Alternatively, the quickest and easiest way to do Gift Aid now is to send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information:
• Your parish name
• Your title, first name and surname
• Your address and postcode
• The date of your gift, or start date of Standing Order
• The amount
• Please add the line: ‘Please Gift Aid my donations’
The Diocese Gift Aid office will add your declaration immediately, on behalf of your parish, and email you a confirmation.
WRCDT – Finchley East