Treasurers Report on 2020 Accounts
As we’re all too well aware, 2020 was a very difficult and challenging year and the restrictions imposed due to the COVID pandemic, saw our church close from the middle of March 2020 and remain closed for the remainder of 2020. As you would expect this had a significant impact on the church’s finances and we returned for the first time in a number of years, a year end deficit of just over £13,400.
During 2020, there was a significant reduction in the amount of income we received from hall rentals, fund raising events and contributions from church organisations which could not meet during the year. In addition, as we were unable to have Church services on a Sunday, our weekly offerings also stopped. Our fall in income was not unfortunately matched by a fall in our expenditure. We continued to meet our full annual allocation of Ministries and Missions Contributions of £61,341 and pay our employees in full for most of the year, which fortunately, was supplemented by payments from the Government’s Job Retention Scheme.
We kept a close eye on our finances throughout the year and took some specific steps to try and minimise our financial losses. We made a special appeal to our congregation for additional donations and over a number of weeks in August provided restricted access to the Church to allow people to drop off their weekly offering envelopes. The response to this was amazing, with over £9,000 being received on one day alone.
You can see from page 18 of the accounts that the total money held by the church is spread across a number of different funds and Page 19 gives you a brief description of the purpose of each of the funds and what they can be used to pay for. You’ll see that we finished the year with just over £43,000 in the General Fund. This is money put aside to pay for any unforeseen future costs or contingencies, for example COVID, and I’m pleased to say that in line with good accounting practise we are continuing to exceed our aim of holding enough money to pay for at least three months running costs. This is a very positive position to be in given the fact that our church was closed for most of 2020.
During the year, we took advantage of the church buildings being closed to complete significant refurbishments and planned improvements in line with our Moncreiff Development project. We installed a new central heating system and gas boilers, upgraded the electrical wiring system including the installation of energy efficient LED lighting, updated the sanitary wear in the washrooms and fully redecorated throughout. Most of this work was paid for by the grant we successfully secured from the Climate Challenge Fund along with contributions from the Moncreiff Development Fund (MDF). The balance on the MDF is invested in the Church of Scotland Investors Trust and at the year end amounted to nearly £105,000.
Overall, while 2020 gave us many financial challenges, we have remained committed to the vision of our church and determined to find solutions. Although we finished the year with lower than expected reserve balances, our closing balance on the General Fund has given us a sound financial start to 2021 and a cushion for any ongoing pressures and additional costs from the effects of the COVID pandemic.
This position would not have been possible without the continued generosity of our congregation and in particular the support and hard work of the Coordinating Group.
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