The Parish Church of

Saint Mary the Virgin

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Number 1 November 1971 - May 1972
When we held our Stewardship Review last Autumn we promised that there would be a six-monthly report given to those who take part in the scheme. In these reports, the idea is two-fold: first to say how things are progressing with regard to the Stewardship Response, but secondly, and more important perhaps, to give an account of the Church Council's stewardship of your stewardship. In other words, what is happening to it all?
First of all the response. As a result of the review last Autumn there has been a very considerable improvement in direct giving to the Church. Particularly noteworthy has been the great increase in the number of people who have agreed to carry out their stewardship by means of covenants. Since November we have thirty-five new covenants completed. Of courses not all this is new giving, but tnis method of stewardship does ensure a 63% increase in the value of contributions, because of the income tax which the Church Council claims back from the Inland Revenue.
The Church Council has anticipated a decline in loose collection, as a result of more people joining the envelope scheme. These loose collections, however, are roughly maintaining their level of last year.
Secondly, what is happening to it? Obviously, the main responsibility of the Church Council at the moment is to see that Saint Mary's Church is put into good repair. As well as the repairs that have already started, plans are also afoot to put in a ringing floor and balcony for the bell-ringers, which will, if carried out, ease the burden of the extreme length of the bell-ropes which make ringing difficult, and enable us to use the considerable space below the Tower for other uses - probably a Choir Vestry. We have yet to learn how much this may costs
We have found that the estimates received for the repair work at Saint Mary's are exceeding the anticipated figures given us as a guide by the architect. This is mainly due to rising prices: as this is likely to continue, the faster the repairs can be completed, the cheaper it will be. We are now receiving the results of our appeal to outside charities. So far we have received donations or promises of help from the Diocesan Building Committee (200) Incorporated Church Building Society (100) and the Society of Antiquaries of London (30). One charity has asked us to apply again when we wish to start on stage 2.
Rising costs affect not only us, but also the bodies which we support each year. Because of this the Church Council has increased a number of its subscriptions to these charities at home and abroad, totalling in the last year 362.


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