Dear Everyday Church family,
Back at the beginning of April we let you have our first financial update of 2020. We said we would do these updates quarterly, but given the impact of lockdown and some of the tough decisions we have had to make, we felt it right to give you an update a little ahead of schedule.
In the first report I reminded us that there are three key areas when we are talking about money. Accountability, Transparency and Generosity. We believe this is important for us as individuals with our own personal finance, but also vital for our communication about our church finances.
As ever we, as a leadership team, are so thankful for your ongoing generosity towards Everyday Church.
|January to May 2020||Budget||Actual|
As you can see our income is nearly £100,000 below budget for the first 5 months of the year. Given the current economic situation, this is not surprising. You will also note that we have significantly reduced our expenditure for the same period. I will explain more about this in a moment. However, as a church, we are still committed to being as generous to others as we are able. Therefore, within this expenditure, we have still managed to give resources to those in need. So far this year we have given away £54,334 to other Kingdom focused organisations, apostolic teams and Church plants. This does not include the special offering in March where we raised £50,000 enabling us to give away £25,000 each to Open Doors and Frontiers.
Back in April, we identified three major impacts of the COVID crisis on our finances:
- No hirers in our buildings.
- The absence of a weekly offering in our meetings.
- The impact of job losses and furloughing on people’s personal finances.
We also outlined the steps we would be taking to prayerfully mitigate this impact:
- Review all staffing and agree where, as a team, it makes sense to furlough roles and claim the government assistance for staff costs.
- Review our spending on facilities, conferences and supplies.
- Investigate where we can redeem payments already made for venue hires etc.
- Discuss with hirers of our buildings how we can work together to cover rent, whilst also protecting businesses so they can continue after the crisis.
- Keeping a very close eye on our cash flow and reserves so we are not caught out on either.
- We will continue to review staffing in a way that honours our staff team and the giving of church members.
- Introduce a clear “offering” moment in our online services to help those who normally give on a week by week basis.
Over the last two months, the team have been working through all these options. We have managed to limit our spending on non-essential supplies and to limit our day to day expenses as a church. There is a clear opportunity to give as part of our online worship service (and many are doing so). We are in ongoing discussion with our regular hirers and we check our cash flow on a daily basis.
The hardest decisions we have had to make have been around staffing. We have now furloughed three members of staff: Nicky Yeo, Kirsty Loosemore, and Greg de Toit. We are keeping in regular contact with them and look forward to welcoming them back as soon as we can.
Although we miss those we have had to place on furlough, the much harder decisions have been around redundancies. All of the team at Everyday Church are important, but there are times when we have to make staff changes. In the current crisis and with an awareness that we have to try and build a sustainable staff structure for the future, we have had to make two posts redundant. I am sorry to say, therefore, that Lynne Nel-Olivier and Derek Williams roles have been made redundant. Lynne was part of the Wimbledon team with specific responsibility for the venue’s work with the disadvantaged. She also took a lead role in helping the venue be as accessible as possible for those with additional needs. Derek was part of the team at our Kingston venue and worked across a range of ministries within the venue. We will miss Lynne and Derek and all that they brought to the team. We are as committed as ever to serving the poor and disadvantaged – not just in Wimbledon and Kingston, but across our whole church, so we are already working hard behind the scenes to steward well what Lynne and Derek have done, so that we can build on it during the economic crisis that is already beginning to hit our nation.
I would like to take the opportunity to personally thank Lynne and Derek for all they have done during their time at Everyday Church and also for the way that they both handled themselves with great grace during a very difficult time.
Please pray for Lynne and Derek, and also for Emeline Cope, part of the Croydon team, whose temporary contract we were unable to renew at the end of May, that God would be their provision at this time and that they would quickly find work.
What can you do?
Clearly this is a challenging time for all of us. Some of us are being furloughed by our employers, some are working harder than ever in tough circumstances, some are not sure they will have a job moving forward. It is easy to feel helpless in this season. However, we have more influence than we think. In this season we are encouraging one another to:
Pray – God is a God of provision and he is our heavenly Father. Whenever we get fearful about our finances let us try to get before God and be honest about our emotions. As we fix our eyes on him we discover the security and provision of grace that we need for another day.
Plan – We are meant to rule over our money, not the other way round. Be encouraged to review your finances and make sure you have a plan for the future. (If you find finances a bit of a mystery all the major banks are offering help online and you can also chat to a trusted friend and get their advice).
Be Generous and Give – as a church we want to honour our staff team and the organisations we give away to every year. To keep our commitments we need to all play our part. Having prayed and planned, seek to be as generous in your giving as you can. Just like the boy who brought his packed lunch to Jesus, when we are generous with what we have God is able to work a miracle of provision.
If you would like to read more about handling money from a biblical perspective why not read our “Money Matters 2020” booklet.
Ask for help – It is hard to admit we are struggling, especially if our culture has taught us that we should not talk about money. Please do not suffer in silence. At Everyday Church we do want to offer help where we can, so if you need financial support please talk to your Life Group Leader or your Venue Leader about ways the church may be able to help.