On Saturday 18 May, over 20 PCC treasurers attended the first of two dedicated events at Diocesan House as part of a series of Training Days put together for PCC Officers this year.

In her introduction to the day, diocesan secretary, Esther Pollard, welcomed delegates and thanked treasurers for the essential work that they do. “We could not manage without you,” she said.

This point was echoed by director of finance, Michael Kent, who took treasurers – several of them newly appointed – through an overview of the diocesan financial structure and an update on the Mission & Ministry Fund (MMF), changes to Gift Aid and the Listed Places of Worship Grant Scheme (LPWG)

Michael and parish finance officer, Milly Clare, then embarked upon a brief ‘refresher course’ on basic accounting principles and best practice, including the distinction between restricted and unrestricted funds, accounting for fees, clergy working expenses, and the use of spreadsheets.

Following the general trend towards web-based activity, Milly continued her presentation by explaining the background to the new national online system for recording the Statistics for Mission and Report of Parish Finance. An advantage of this new approach is the instant availability of financial data to parishes, thereby enabling more transparency, comparison with diocesan trends, clearer presentations to PCC colleagues and better budgeting.

Milly was joined by Debbie Croucher from Transformation Cornwall to cover the subjects of procurement and cost saving, and delegates’ attention was drawn to the advantages of the Parish Buying scheme and energy saving incentives, illustrated by some case histories.

Formal presentations also included an update on church insurance by Revd Chris Epps, and Debbie shared her expertise on fund-raising, covering some basic principles and sources of funding. This too was illustrated with case histories.

Throughout the day, treasurers responded to the relaxed atmosphere by asking many questions; and, at times, by sharing tips and recommendations of their own!

All the Treasurers’ Training Day Presentations can be found on the PCC Training page, under the Your Parish tab on the Home Page.                        Click here for shortcut