Promising start to third quarter
Despite the poor weather this spring and early summer – and the adverse financial climate – our loyal PCCs have ‘rallied to the cause’ and the majority are trying to keep up with their Mission & Ministry Fund (MMF) contributions; such that following a disappointing start in the first six months of the year, payments in July meant that the third quarter has begun in positive mood.
The diocese relies heavily on voluntary contributions from over 200 parishes to maintain its Christian mission and ministry activities in communities across the Duchy. Of every £1 of its income, 76p alone is spent on funding and housing the stipendiary clergy, leaving aside training and other support costs.
A review of the monthly receipts from parishes over the last six years shows some interesting trends, with steadily increasing receipts as the summer months unfold and income from fund-raising events and tourists becomes available. Church running costs are also lower during the summer months.
There is always a frightening dip in the month of November when contributions from parishes who have opted to pay their share over 10 months rather than across the whole year, fall off the radar!
It was recognised that 2012 would be a difficult year for parishes because of the national climate of austerity, so the overall MMF ‘call’ for 2012 was held at the same level as in 2011 – £3.45m. At the end of July, however, the MMF receipts were less than 90% of where they should be, so despite the latest rally in giving there is still some way to go to catch up.
If you have any questions about the MMF, how it works, or queries about how your parish is doing, e-mail Parish Finance Officer, Milly Clare or call her on 01872 274351
Some facts & figures
- Despite popular belief, none of the MMF money from parishes goes to pay for either the Bishop and his expenses or the Cathedral and its upkeep.
- We rely heavily on a generous grant of over £750,000 from the Church Commissioners, which is not the case with every diocese and recognises the particular difficulties we face.
- Less than 6p in every £1 of the total diocesan income is spent on all the central support and administrative services provided by Diocesan House, including staff salaries and pensions.