Financial Update - 30th June 2020
Dear Jubilee Church Family
Back in November, I shared at our AGM that we would be providing a financial update every quarter. I shared the last one in March, not realises just how much would have changed by the time I share the next update!
The last financial year was a very tough one for us as a church with major essential works happening in our building. Then the financial challenges significantly changed with the COVID-19 pandemic.
In March, we identified the impact that COVID-19 would have on the finances of the church and identified the following areas of concern:
- No income from hirers of Jubilee Central due to building closure.
- The loss of our weekly offerings on Sundays
- The potential decrease in online giving due to change in church members financial situation due to COVID-19.
- Not receiving expected income from TLG Education Centre due to closure of schools.
We decided to take the following steps:
- Identified staff whose role has been affected by COVID-19 restrictions and agree with individual team members who will be placed ‘on furloughed’ and access Government scheme to claim back 80% of wages (we then topped this up by 20% to ensure all staff remained on full pay).
- Ensure need for continued giving is communicated clearly in our online communications (website, church news and social media) and attempt to get more church members giving online rather than in the cash offerings on Sunday.
- Create strategy and action plan to increase number of rental bookings once building reopens including launching a Jubilee Central website in the summer.
- Review our spending in all areas and look to reduce spending during this time.
- Monitor cashflow carefully and look to increase our reserves to safeguard long-term future.
April to May 2020
From the figures, you will see that our income is £4,000 above budget for the year with our expenditure being £4,000 below budget. This means we are £8,000 ahead of where we planned to be at the start of the year.
Our income has been significantly impacted by lack of hirers and the other factors described above. However, we have seen online giving remain at the level it was at before lockdown and we are extremely grateful for the incredible support and generosity from our church family. We have also seen a number of one-off gifts from churches and individuals around the country and have successfully obtained a number of grants during this time including from Regions Beyond, Two Ridings Foundation and the FP Finn Trust. With us also benefitting from claiming support for staffing costs from the Government scheme, we are left in a much stronger position than we were when I last shared in March.
The closure of our building has also meant we have been able to reduce spending in many areas of church life although we anticipate for spending to increase once we are able to reopen and church activities begin again.
Where does this leave us?
The coming months are key for us we make decisions about spending in church life. With the Government scheme to end soon we will not be able to claim for staffing costs for much longer and also will see an increase in spending on day to day church activities once they restart.
This increase in spending would normally be covered by our rental income however we realise it may be some time before people want to host events and meetings. We are also relying on students being referred to the TLG Education Centre when it reopens in September.
We therefore need to make decisions over the coming weeks about how to use the money we have and not take risks which puts the long-term future of the church.
What can you do?
This is a challenging time for every one of us at Jubilee. Some of us have lost work or been furloughed, some are working harder than ever in tough circumstances. As we consider Jubilee, it is easy to feel anxious about the future or feel like we need to take control and even stop doing the very things God has called us to.
However, I want to remind us again that Jubilee is not my church, it’s not your church but it’s Jesus’ Church and he is in charge. Over the last 2 months I have seen God provide miraculously through a variety of sources and again reminded of his faithfulness to us.
I also know that when I look to the future, I know God is calling us to be a people full of faith and generosity.
Over the next few days and weeks can I encourage you to do the following:
Pray – We have seen time and time again that God provides for us. He knows what each of us need. Let’s be praying for those in need in our community during this time and let’s pray that God will continue to provide for the work of Jubilee. Also do pray for me and the team as we have to make key decisions about what church looks like in the future.
Review – For many of us, our financial situation has changed over the last couple of months and so it is important to review where we are at. We might need to make a budget or look at where we can make savings.
Give – Part of that review should also be your giving to the church. Maybe you could start giving online if you don’t already, this type of giving really helps us budget. If you have seen a drop in income, it may be time to give less or maybe you have given the same amount for a long time and God is calling you to give more.
We want to be a church full of generosity and have seen that again during this time. However, we still only have around 50% of the church giving a regularly amount via standing order. This means that the other 50% are either giving via the cash offerings on Sundays or not giving. Either way we are missing out on this money during this time so can I ask you to consider how you can play your part in giving during this time. God has called us to so much as we make Jesus known in our city and believe he primarily uses the giving of church members to resource that work.
Ask for help – If you are struggling with finances then do reach out to us for support. It can be difficult to talk about money, but it is so important we do as God calls us to steward well all that we have been given. Please talk to your growth group leader or contact the church office and we can help support you with budgeting, dealing with debt and saving.
We are also looking to start running a money course which will equip people to deal with money well and we will have more information soon. We also need people to help with the delivery of this courses so get in touch if you think this is something you could help with.
In this unknown time, I am certain that God is in control. He is in control of my life, your life, and his church. Let’s confidently approach Him today, trust Him for all you need and allow Him to transform, change and use you during this time.
Black Lives Matter
Over the last few days, the world has been reacting to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers.
Our hearts go out to the family of George Floyd and those in the black community who are feeling hurt, angry and tired at this time. There are many within our Jubilee family who are hurting at this time and together we must act to see change happen.
We long for Jubilee, our city and the nations to be a place where the beauty of God's diversity is reflected fully and as a white majority church we have so much to learn. See the video above for my thoughts on how we should respond at this time. During the week I also got to engage with a discussion on the how white majority churches should respond to COVID-19 and especially the disproportionate impact on ethnic minorities (you can watch the discussion below). I was particular challenged on how the church has been very good at social action (feeding the poor etc) but failed to adequately address social justice and we have seen that clearly this week with the issue of racism.
There have been many helpful things said over the last few days by those who have more wisdom and experience when it comes to diversity and the issue of racism so please find below some helpful articles which will help us reflect and then act to see justice being done.
The first document has been created by Jemima Mitra, a member of our church who has written her thoughts about how we should respond as Christians.
'Christians for Black Lives Matter'
'Race, Riots, Response'
'Responding to a traumatic week'
'Black Lives Matter: The UK is Not Innocent
I hope this provoking articles will be a cause of reflection and conversation and lead to lasting change and as a church we will be exploring these issues more over the coming days, weeks and months.
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