Donating to St Bartholomew's
Fulfilling our Christian Mission demands a very great deal, not only from the time and talents of our church members, but also through the efforts we have to make to raise that vital funding to continue our work and meet the massive expense of maintaining our Grade 1 Listed building.
Gifts can be made by downloading our donation form and posting it to us with your cheque.
Giving and Receiving
St Bartholomew's is in financial crisis.
We require over £125,000 a year to meet all of our everyday costs including the sum we should be paying each year to the diocese for our ministry costs, including church insurance. This doesn't allow for any huge unscheduled costs that we might have to pay for things like the renewal of the heating boilers or unforseen building repairs - these can be very costly depending on the magnitude of the work.
We can only manage to raise about £60,000 a year so you can see our predicament.
WE ARE SEEKING TO RAISE MUCH MORE FUNDING AND WE HAVE TO LOOK NOT ONLY TO OUR ESTABLISHED CHURCH MEMBERS TO DO THIS BUT ALSO TO A WORLDWIDE AUDIENCE INTERESTED IN PRESERVING THIS WONDERFUL BUILDING OF OURS AND MAKING SURE THAT WE CAN CONTINUE TO FUNCTION AS AN IMPORTANT PLACE OF CHRISTIAN WORSHIP.
One of the necessary but least comfortable things that parish clergy are expected to do is to encourage congregations to give ever more generously of their money to the life of the Church.
The first essential in any comment on giving is to say THANK YOU. The people of S Bart's, and that includes you, have given with extraordinary generosity and commitment to enable the distinctive mission of the Church to continue and flourish.
We are at an exciting, and yes daunting, juncture in the life of our Church. There is a recognition from higher places that S Bart's plays a unique role in the life of the Diocese and City - there really is nothing quite like it!
We have an opportunity to develop and strengthen our involvement in the life of the parish, through the school and the community. Whilst cherishing the importance of the Solemn High Mass, we can also build up the profile and significance of the Family Mass - not as the poor relation, but as the foundation and vehicle for encouraging the young, the old and the in-between to explore the Christian faith and worship with us in a way that nurtures understanding, prayer and the sense of belonging.
We are a popular concert and event venue. It can often feel disruptive and intrusive but it is an important measure of the value that people with little or no connection with the Christian faith place on S Bart's.
So why spoil all this positive stuff with talk about giving. It is the kind of exhortation that is rarely greeted with joy and enthusiasm. All of us, of whatever age and condition, have obligations and commitments that drop through the door in window envelopes, or nibble away by the stealth of direct debits. Church slips easily into the non-essential column of disposable income. And in difficult economic circumstances, giving to Church is amongst the first things to be curtailed or cut.
Despite perceptions and misrepresentations, the Church is not cash-rich. The local parish Church (S Bartholomew's!) does not have inexhaustible vaults of wealth. We have been fortunate in the past to receive generous legacies, even from folk who have little connection with the weekly round of life and worship in the parish. Those legacies are now spent. Yet somehow we have to pay our way and pay our bills.
We also have the obligation of maintaining a Grade 1 listed building which is now registered with English Heritage as 'at risk'. As a congregation we cannot hope to manage the maintenance of the building alone, so we depend on the support of grant-making bodies.
We can, however, ensure that our regular outgoings are met from the giving of our members. There is no membership fee, and no one is prevented from worshipping with us because they are unable to contribute significantly. There are really only two options, and a need for both — increase our giving; increase our regular congregation.
But we must only increase our giving because we can gladly. And we must only increase our congregation because of the conviction that others have a place with us in the embrace of God's love.
You might think it is not worth it. You might think it is poor value for money. You might think someone else will keep things going.
You might think that - but there will come a time when thinking will be remembering.
You ought to believe that there are important things to be done. You ought to believe that your contribution is essential and appreciated. You ought to believe that S Bart's is worth it.
You ought to believe it - because believing is the pre-requisite to making it happen.
Before you despair, go back and read again the first five paragraphs this article.
That's why it matters. True giving is not about paying our way or maintaining the fabric of the Church. True giving is about our joyful, careful and thoughtful response to God and acknowledging the positive things that are being done to extend his kingdom, and to encourage others to discover and know his love for them.
None of us should feel compelled by circumstance, but all of us must be motivated by the conviction that we will hold nothing back from God who has held nothing back from us.